Mona Lisa (One Version) – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 18th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Some books can go on and on, relentlessly refusing to end. They lie in ones way, cluttering work space, not budging from existence, but never quite BEING. This book on Mona Lisa – or better known by its original name – Mona Lisa Unraveling the Extant Texts, is such a book.

Except that today I called it quits – and if she comes knocking again (a fact of which I have not a doubt), I’ll begin again. It’s not without reason that this elusive portrait still haunts mans eternal halls of fame.

Vessels in Dispute


Posted on 16th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

This is the first of three paintings which will be cut up to form books for An Encyclopedia of Everything – the Vessels in Dispute series. I get 6 books per painting. This particular work is an early pâte-sur-pâte experiment done by Marc-Louis Solon, under the tuition of Sienna (around 1851).

Midday Here and There David Stone/Cheryl Penn – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 15th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Book 2 in the collaborative poetry anthology section of An Encyclopedia of Everything:

Cheryl Penn/David Stone
Midday Here and There.
This poetry collaboration with David Stone began via email on 19th February 2014 and book 1 was concluded on 23 March 2014. As mentioned briefly under Chapbooks, the poem was not done and we have started corresponding on Book 2. The words are unedited and – if I may quote – “Images used to rise up before me, as I am sure they have arisen before nearly everyone who cares for poetry, of wild-eyed men who spoke harmoniously to murmuring wires, while audiences in many coloured robes listened, hushed and excited” – From – The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats Volume IV: Early Essays.

That’s the feeling I get from this type of collaboration where words cross the divide, sparking in “rhythmical animation, in idiom, in images, in words full of far off suggestion” (ibid) a form of communication, which expresses immediate response to the written words of another.
For an online version see

Greyscale – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 14th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized


Grey is the ever increasing absence of light.
Positive: Psychological neutrality. 
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
Pure grey is the only colour that has no direct psychological properties. It is, however, quite suppressive. A virtual absence of colour is depressing and when the world turns grey we are instinctively conditioned to draw in and prepare for hibernation. Unless the precise tone is right, grey has a dampening effect on other colours used with it. Heavy use of grey usually indicates a lack of confidence and fear of exposure.

Grey Matter
Grey Area
Grey Beard
Alle Katte is Grys in die Donker.

Proverbs Book 1 An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 12th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Make no mistake, the book of Proverbs is no out dated set of dictums – this book passes on a core of knowledge, principals that apply to all people at all times. The book is written as a rich pattern of rhetoric, contrast and various forms of parallelism.
For example – synonymous parallelism”
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches/loving favor rather than silver and gold”.
Antithetical parallelism:
“A prudent man forsees evil and hides himself/
But the simple pass on and are punished”.
“Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice”.

Two of my favorites:
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” and
“A soft answer turns away wrath”.
The foundation principal on which all the proverbs are based?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction”.

Zine in a Box Edition 5 – TICTAC Germany


Posted on 11th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Brightly reminiscent of Pop Art, this edition of Zine in a Box is as interesting as its predecessors

Pop Art flourished through the use of popular and consumer imagery, debunking the seriousness of the art world and embracing the use of every day paraphernalia. I often write to TICTAC and we lament a lack of time in our respective lives – except I can see where A LOT of hers goes – on the production of this unique series which she gives generously to in terms of production quality and manual artistic intervention – another delightful collaboration I am pleased to be a part of. Participants in this edition:

R.F. Côté – Canada
Tiziana Baracchi, Italy
Uli Grohmann, Germany
Martine Rastello, France
Roland Halbritter, Germany
Cheryl Penn, South Africa
Heinz W.Lotz, Germany
Eric Bensidon, France
Antonio Gomez, Spain
Andrew Maximilian Niss, Germany
Aristide 318, France
Pier Roberto Bassi, Italy
Angela Behrendt, Germany
Mariano Bellarosa, Italy
David Dellafiora, Australia
Serse Luigetti, Italy
Renato Sclaunich, Italy
Kerosene, Canada
Lancillotto Bellini, Italy
Emilio Morandi, Italy
Miranda Vissers, Netherlands
Ptrzia(TICTAC), Germany

Catch this project on:

Chapbooks – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 10th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized


David Stone and I had made a poetry book together – Midday Here and There.
Once I had made the book (an edition of 2) for An Encyclopedia of Everything, I knew the words had to be distributed further. Being an ARTISTS BOOKS maker, I was used to hard/strong covers/ unique editions of 1/ MAXIMUM 10/
handwork/original painting/drawing/printing – you name it, it wasn’t a BOOK until I had slaved over it. Enter the CHAPBOOK.

I have a generous quantity of Chapbooks thanks to Mail Art – but am still coming to my own conclusions about this artform.
I am still not certain of the differences between some CHAPBOOKS and ARTISTS BOOKS. The reason for this is, I have artists books which look like chapbooks and chapbooks which look like artists books – so designated by their authors. And then pamphlet stitched, multiple editions which are not designated at all. And sometimes they’re not huge multiple editions – they’re just a signed edition of 12. That means they’re quite rare in the genre of printed matter. So where-to from here?

There IS some sort of charm to these short publications – but I would still not produce them in unlimited quantities – 10 seems enough to warrant the copy of a unique – or in Midday Here and There, copy of an original work – otherwise, why is it any different to the myriads of copied works out there.

So begins my Chapbook work – Thanks David ☺ – the well spring of artistic creativity is indeed a misnomer with incongruent beginnings. I printed texts relating to Chapbooks off the internet, a modern interpretation of the way I think historic Chapbooks may have worked – except of course we’re WAY beyond the original intention of these multiple, cheaply editioned word copies. Or are we? Why are artists still producing these sort of book works?