Codex Finds 2015 at 23 Sandy Gallery


Every day I’ve been thinking of blog posts that should be here, but instead are stuck in my head while working on orders for artist books. I’m happy to share with you that Codex was a wonderful success for me personally! I’ll give you more details soon and share some of the fabulous artwork that I saw while there.

In the meantime, here is a preview in the form of a show, Codex Finds 2015,  curated by 23 Sandy Gallery’s Laura Russell. It is an honor to have been invited by Laura to participate. I have 3 books in the show, Twenty Six Charging Stations, Birth/Control and Public Privacy.

Get yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or, if it’s late enough, a glass of wine) and spend some time perusing the beautiful full color online catalog. Even better, if you can get there between March 25 – April 25, stop by the gallery and enjoy the artists books in person.


Artist Book Release: Public Privacy

Public Privacy (2 of 3)

In preparation for Codex, I am releasing a new Artist Book, Public Privacy.

Public Privacy examines the tension between our need for privacy and the transparency of modern life.

Just as our windows allow us to see out during the day, at night they become view screens to the passerby. Our devices allow us great personal freedom, but at what personal cost? Whether through open curtains or social media posting our permission to watch is implicit. In an age of Facebook, Instagram and Google Earth how is it that we have any expectation of privacy at all?

Public Privacy (3 of 3)

Public Privacy highlights the way that we have made our lives more accessible by virtue of the devices, companies and services that surround us. Whether by the cameras on our tablets, game consoles and computers; by the GPS trackers in our phones and cars; or by the data gathering of our entertainment and shopping choices, our lives have become open books.


Public Privacy Slides (6 of 12)

To see more photos, including more sample slides, please check out my new website:

Looking forward to seeing you at Codex, my table is #51. Midnight Moon Press.




Book Release: Birth/Control

Birth Control - Ginger Burrell - For Website resized (2 of 7)

Today I am proud to share with you a new artist book, Birth/Control.

Birth/Control explores the history and public debate surrounding what should be a private decision between a woman and her doctor.

Birth/Control features eleven signatures, each with an original poem and layered imagery of quotes, birth control methods and the female reproductive system.

Text image for blog

In between signatures are female silhouettes, not of the stereotypical sexualized form, but of real women, each as individual as the choices she makes.

The locket, which usually would hold photos of one’s children, instead holds the title and alludes to the clamshell design of birth control pill packets.

I’ve had a wonderful response so far to Birth/Control with comments about the beautiful design elements as well as the rich content. I’ll be showing the work at Codex beginning February 8th, 2015. For more images.

Miniature Books Workshop, Tuesday, December 16th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Holiday Star Book - Ginger Burrell (2 of 3)

Still looking for the perfect gifts? Two spaces left in the class next Tuesday!

Learn how to and make three hardcover miniature books (3″ x 3″ or smaller), to build your own collection, or to use as decorations for your holidays! Our miniature star, flag, and tunnel books will have holiday themed content and can be personalized to fit your own sense of style.

Holiday Star Book - Ginger Burrell (3 of 3)


In addition to leaving class with three finished books, you’ll have step by step instructions, with photos, to make them again and again with different ideas.

Class fee $75, Materials Fee $15

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Ginger’s Morgan Hill Studio

Holiday Star Book - Ginger Burrell (1 of 3)


The Color of Real-World Studios

Have you ever gazed at images of perfect studios? You know the ones in magazines that are impossibly beautiful and organized? I often wonder about the palette (wall colors, not painter’s tool…) chosen and whether it fosters creativity or is distracting. Does it compete with the art making and finished art or highlight it?

One of the most viewed blog posts I’ve ever written was on the color of one’s studio and which colors facilitate creativity. I was building my own studio at the time and doing research. In the end, I went with white walls and a neutral floor color. Everything in my studio is white or natural wood, even the curtains are a natural and restful blue. Except that it isn’t. My studio is a cornucopia of texture, color and projects (or a rampant mess, depending on my mood…)  I’ve got photos, artwork, inspiration, supplies, books, stacks, etc. adding color everywhere. I suppose you could say that my studio is actually every colored.

As an extension of the original post, which you’ll find here: While We’re Talking Paint Colors, I asked artists that I know through the Bay Area Book Artists about their studios and colors they’ve chosen, or not, and why. Here, in no particular order, are their replies.


My studio is blue based purple tinted out to a lilac color for walls and trim.  Grey based white ceiling to reflect light back down into space, and flooring a light green.  There are accent colors in all of the colors of the spectrum introduced in art work and assemblage pickings.  Surrounding rooms are a saturated grey because it is wonderful to display artwork on.  – Rhonda L.

white walls

1. My studio, as well as my entire living space, has white walls. I respond to emptiness, which white represents for me. The invitation of emptiness allows me to put up drawings, paintings, pieces of ephemera, words, and photographs that provide stimulation for creativity. 2. I feel that my creativity stems from a quiet center, and in order to have that quiet center, I need an interesting visual space. It’s almost as if the first creative act is to take the white walls, and begin a “room collage” of imagery that appeals to me, and once I’m ensconced in the arms of the imagery, my deepest creative place gets activated. This may look like clutter to others, but there is purpose, movement, order and balance to my eyes, and this is how I journey back to my center.  – Karen K.


My studio walls are the color of leaves with a cream ceiling. My studio has windows on two walls and looks out on to the garden.  I like the sense of working in the great outdoors, it makes me happy.  That being said, the walls have lots of art, books and stuff on them, so the true sense is a garden that’s gotten outta control.  It keeps me stimulated. ( – Rae T.

black and white

My studio currently has white walls and ceilings, with neutral to black surfaces and furnishings. It’s calming and visually quiet environment so that I can both work and play here. It’s not stark, as there are areas of creative clutter, but the overall space is peaceful and inviting for making art. The best moments are when I turn on some music and put my phone on silent. – Karen C.


My studio is Tiffany blue with white trim. I work full-time at a hospital, and this color helps me forget my day. I can think better at my studio. When I sit down to create, it usually never takes longer than 10 mins before ideas start to flow. – Linh D.


I don’t really have any colors. Behind me is floor to ceiling shelving with supplies. To my left is a huge cabinet with wood doors, though often they are open showing more supplies. Next to that we have the television sitting in a brick fireplace. In front of  me, is mostly my huge iMac honestly can’t see much beyond it. (It’s new. :) yay) and off to the right is an open area that turns into the kitchen area, again mostly wood cabinets  there’s very little wall in the whole room, what we have is the same white as when we moved in. So I’d have to say my studio is “art supply” colored, mostly vintage paper and books. And the matte aluminum of my epson r2400 and  iMac. I wish it were prettier like those spreads you see of people’s studio. I had Kit come help me organize it, but frankly, I work chaotically, and don’t have lots of energy to tidy up after, so everything is a massive pile of paper I’m working with, loosely held in clear plastic tubs. (Kit pointed out that I like to see what I have or I forget I have it, so clear tubs work great).  I was raised by my Gran who liked need and tidy, so I always feel a bit of shame in regards to my work space. ( – Raven E.

tomato red

My interior studio walls are warm white and with tomato red /orange accent walls and maple shelving with views of trees out my windows. My studio is a relaxing environment which sparks my creative energy. – Bernadette C.


I painted mine an ivory-white. Warm tone supports good vibes. Also good lighting helps. I have sky lighting plus warm light bulbs for night work. Has been great since 1984! ~ Jone M.


How color affects one’s creativity is a good question. I prefer white walls in a studio. I like to use colors and a placing a painting/print etc, against a white surface gives me the best idea of the true color, i.e. there is minimal color interference. I even prefer a white palette and ink rolling surface for that reason. Also white walls reflect light best. If I had my choice I would have one wall be a pale ‘photo’ grey, neither warm, nor cool, again for minimal interference with true color in a painting, print etc. BUT the best psychological stimulus to my creativity is having plenty of Northern light. Artificial light is a downer for me. – Conni R.

warm white

My last studio had knotty pine walls, very warm but too dark. I couldn’t bring myself to paint them because they were beautiful wood. I like a lot of light, from windows if possible, with no shadows under my hands. My new studio has slightly warm, white walls, our landlord’s choice. But it’s working well. I like the brightness. I feel most colors on the wall would bounce onto whatever I’m working on and have an effect. Later in a different setting my finished art would not be the color I want. My table tops are a light grey, I prefer my grey cutting mat over the dark green one most of the time, too. I think these simple colors create an environment that makes me feel like it’s a good place to be making things. ( – Judy H.

multi 2

My studio walls are white but you can barely see them. The walls are covered with every color possible of artwork and art supplies. This colorful atmosphere is what charges and inspires me. For me “more is more” in every sense of creativity. ( – Dorit E.

navajo white

In my studio I keep pretty neutral with color and have a Navajo white which has some warmth to it and grey. It makes a great backdrop for all colors and does not intrude.  It keeps the space clean without being sterile and helps keep the light level up. The color is in all the inspiration pieces I have around. My artwork, objects that inspire, plants, and fabrics hanging on the walls or on shelves. There are a lot of natural items…rocks, wood, dried leaves and pods that warm up the space without effecting other colors. – Karen R.

What color is your studio? Or what color is your dream studio? Have you changed your studio color over time? If so, why? Please share in the comments!

Thank you again to the artists in Bay Area Book Artists. They are a tremendously generous group and always willing to share their thoughts and ideas.



A Book about Water Conservation for You to Make and Share

Water Conservation How To Reshoot 2 (2 of 2)

For the recent Book Arts Jam, I designed a new  cut and fold book. This one is about Water Conservation. It features original artwork and haiku as well as water saving tips from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

You can download the printable pdf, here: Ginger Burrell – Water Conservation Haiku Book 2014

Please feel free to copy, print and make as many of them as you’d like. You’ll find the directions, below as well as my first instructional video.

To assemble your book, first print on the highest print quality that your printer will produce. My favorite paper to use for these books is Hammermill Color Copy Digital. Be careful when you print – my print dialogue tries to default to “fit to page” which changes the dimensions and will make your book turn out funky. The book is designed to have the haiku centered on each page.

After printing the page, fold the paper in half lengthwise with the images on the outside. Use a bone folder to make the crease sharp.

Water Conservation How To Reshoot (1 of 6)

Now unfold your paper and fold it in half the other direction, again with the images on the outside. Remember to crease every fold.

Water Conservation How To Reshoot (2 of 6)

Now, fold each half of the page up to meet the middle fold and crease. You’ll end up with a W fold.

Water Conservation How To Reshoot (3 of 6)

Now, fold your paper back in half , with the images on the outside, and cut with scissors, very carefully from the top of the fold down to the horizontal fold.

Water Conservation How To Reshoot (4 of 6)

Keeping your book folded, use the outer two folded halves and push inward. The cut halves will fold the other way so you have an X.

Water Conservation How To Reshoot 2 (1 of 2)

Lay flat and press, starting with the back page (full water droplet). Voila!

Water Conservation How To Reshoot 2 (2 of 2)


Your comments on what you think of the book and/or the video, and what you will do with it are appreciated.

More free books for you to make are available through Free For All.







Book Arts Jam 2014 – Don’t Miss It!

  • Saturday, October 18th
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Lucie Stern Center, Palo Alto, CA

Join me this coming weekend for one of my favorite events of the year, the Book Arts Jam! There is a great lineup of speakers, demos, an exhibition of artists’ books, amazing vendors and much, much more…. Oh, and don’t forget the Silent Auction!

I’m happy to be participating in a variety of ways again this year – as a teacher, (don’t miss my make-and-take at 12 noon – I’ve designed a new book, just for you!), as a vendor (come and see the two new books I’m releasing on Saturday), and as an assistant on the Silent Auction (Kit Davey really does all the hard work, I just offer tech support).

Come for the artists’ books, come for the inspiration, (come for the food trucks!) and come by and say, “Hello.” It’s always a pleasure to visit with old friends and make new ones.