Made from old report card scantron cards, leather

“My mother said to pick the very best one and you are not it'”

Or the book of remembering and forgetting

A book of hidden text, meanings and images

book 62 x 6.8

An artist book

French door fold encaustic book

Inviting Pleasure graphic novel



By Neverne Covington

Books have always been dominant part of my life. Over the past few years I’ve begun creating my own. Making them fills me with awe and wonder. Whether they are sometimes literal or sometimes not, whether they have a text or only pictograms, artist’s books provide intimate containers for the narratives that become stories in and of themselves. My artist books are a work of art that utilizes the form of a book.

Some of the books featured here are small and intimate before being opened, like the Dervish Dances, which is 6.75 X 6 unopened, expanding to 6.75 X 68 inches. Also shown hers, the Alchemical Text, opened is 4 x 2 feet, made of rusted ceiling tin tiles and, pages full of etchings, lithographs monotypes and drawings and embedded with hidden text. The matrix for both the Dervish Dances and The Alchemical Text was made by letting the Florida summer rains press paper into the rusted ceiling tin tiles to imprint a pattern forming a matrix as well as embossing the surface. Strips of kid glove leather adorn each book. The book Inviting Please was made with melting encaustic medium with a blowtorch. My smallest book is 4 x 5 x ½ inches closed traveled internationally as part of the exhibit Monumental Ideas in Miniature books. I incorporate different folding techniques when making these books; most of my books are either Accordion folds or French door folds, occasionally I will use a folio method for my books. 

Whenever I start a one of a kind artist book, I never know where the story is taking me. The thrill is in the discovery; the story emerges later. Artist’s books are intimate, tactile, public and private. Making books initiates me into the story and narrative, to knowing and to the unknown, it makes me return to the private refuge of my childhood, books.



The Sisters Grimm

The Sisters Grimm

by Neverne Covington

When a young child hears, “ You are going to be the death of me ” threatened by the most trusted person in their world, their mother or father, what do they think? What ideas enter the child’s mind when commanded to “Bite your tongue?”

Part sass, part satire, the Sisters Grimm skitters across the landscape of language to probe the puncturing of innocence, to dismantle the sinister sensuality of the childhood scold.

This ongoing project, the Sisters Grimm, combines oral history, visual art, and viewer participation. It consists of an ongoing series of drawings of characters I have created based on idioms I have collected, spoken to young children over generations and different cultures. The series is based on and titled with common phrases every child has heard probably more than once, such as “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you” and “Always wear clean underwear.” Before starting the series, during exhibitions, I have continued to interview people for phrases they remember most. At the exhibitions, viewers are asked to sit in an old school desk and write what they remember. I have collected many pages of such idioms from written in four languages, from many different cultures. In addition, and sometimes unsolicited, I have been sent photos of people as children who want to be included in this project.

1. Always wear clean underwear

2. Hold your tongue

3. Don’t put it in your mouth

4. Don’t point that at your sister

5 Wipe that grin before it sticks forever

6. You are going to be the death of me

7. Step on a crack, break your mothers back.

8. Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face

Drawn with a sensual line and somber color, this series of drawings of young girls with large heads and diminishing bodies probe the puncturing of innocence, as they dismantle, with a child’s inherent wisdom, the rebukes from adults. Then gaze back at you with a stare you cannot avoid. With humor and with irony, they wink at us from across the divide of language, questioning why such statements are perpetuated and how are they to be interpreted.  Although they appear prim and proper, they look back at you with – like stepping through the looking glass, from a complex and humorous world, and one that is a little wicked. 

A short video on the making of the Sisters Grimm and more drawings in the series can be viewed here



From From the I-Ching to Cold Wax to Carl Jung and back to Oil again

From From the I-Ching to Cold Wax to Carl Jung and back to Oil again

In 2016 I started experimenting with cold wax medium, using knives, brayers, scrapers, shapers, and stencils, this catapulted me out of my comfort zone. The physicality of the medium enticed me: to pull, scrape, roll, mask and layer to pull back, revealing, concealing, to unearth a path to the subconscious.

For inspiration, I drew upon the 3000 year old I-Ching and Carl Jung. I threw the I-Ching and landed on 4 hexagrams: Fu/the turning Point, Feng/Abundance, Chi’en/ the Creative and Kuai/Resoluteness. I made these four small black and white, cold wax paintings based on the these hexagrams. 

What I learned from this medium, I integrated into oil painting. I have used these images as a springboard for large oil paintings. Changing mediums, for a time, refreshed and invigorated my imagination. Pictured here, Into the Blue 60 X 48 is based on Feng. All 5 of these painting were included in my 24 piece solo exhibition Relative Motion: Focused Observations at the Arts Exchange in the Warehouse Arts District this Feb. and March 2020. It is my humble hope that my audience will respond to these resonances. 


My 2020 solo exhibition- Relative Motion: focused observations

Gallery corner

The Burgeoning, The Beguiling, and State of Flux

Pictured here are some photos from my solo exhibition at the Tully Levine Gallery at the Art Exchange in Feb. and March 2020. There will be more to follow. The exhibition consisted of 24 non- objective oil and cold wax paintings, and drawings. I was interview by Mark Aeling in the gallery talk that followed. I was fortunate to have the exhibition just before the Covid lock down. 

What inspires this work is interaction with the natural world, which ignites both my senses and my intellect. Rhythm, pattern, and repetition color dictate my process and the direction each work will take.  I become inspired through direct observation and by immersing myself in nature. The inherent themes of permanence, impermanence, and transience become the basis of my work.

 Painting makes me pay attention. It entices me into the mystery of nature and the landscape of memory. It is my humble hope that this work resonates with my audiences. 


Share this article with your network: