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A Work in Progress - Altered Books and Collage
My Latest Altered Book - "Going Home"Click thumbnail to view full-size
Letting It Flow
When I first began this altered book project , I had no idea what I was doing. I had read about altered art, but this was the first project that I had ever done. Being a traditional artist, the whole concept seemed foreign to me. As I worked on it, the feeling of freedom and ideas began to flow, and as it became easier, I became literally obsessed by this new project! The original name of this book was "Going Home", and those words seemed perfect to sum up what this art project was doing for me! I was "going home" to the base of my emotions each day.
The fact of defacing a perfectly good book was really hard, because I love books. Plus I had never just "let go" when working on a piece, so I had those two things to get over, and you can see that in the book. Now the problem is harnessing that creativity and trying to point it into one direction!
I felt that this book needed a constant theme running through it, and it just evolved into a book about emotions, which is closely related to a phrase like "Going Home"! As you go through the book and read the writing, as well as look at the pictures it has, it begins to reveal itself as a stream of consciousness work of art.
Each page that has been done so far shows a different emotion from the others. The found poetry in the book hits upon my emotions and thoughts for that day, as well as the artwork showing different phrases and elements that are descriptive of emotions. My mood obviously changes from day to day, as well as minute to minute, and the book reflects that. In that way, this altered book has become a sort of art therapy for me.
I have kept writing about this project on Hubpages, trying to express those views. I want people to see that even if they have no "talent" they can still produce art! I feel that it is important that people have an outlet for their emotions in a constructive, not destructive way, and mixed media and altered art are wonderful ways to overcome the "I can't draw a straight line" feelings of some people! Anyone can do this type of art, from young children to adults.
As a normally "fine artist", it took me a while to relax and just go with this art project. As you go through each page in this partially finished book, you can see how I started off very stiff and reluctant to let loose of those emotions and just "go with it". As I did page after page, I would go to my computer and look at other artists books, not for ideas to steal, but for inspiration. Some pages are complete, and others I will go back to and ass things to later. There is a wealth of information, examples and techniques to be found on the internet! I even became a member of the "International Society of Altered Book Artists" "(ISABA), which allowed me access to even more techniques and ideas they had posted on the internet. Not normally the type to "join" groups or clubs, I feel honored to be a part of these free spirited artists.
I have worked on this piece longer than any other in my career. Mixed media art seems to be the niche I have been looking for all this time. It holds my interest because there are no limitations on technique or style. I literally spend every day either thinking about, working on, or both with this book, and already have another started to work on after I finish this one! I have become obsessed with this art form more that any other, and have worked on th It has gotten where my hubby comes home each day and asks, "How is your book coming along", instead of, "How was your day"!
I am about half finished, and have to cut out some pages because the book is getting too fat. I have learned so much from this first one, and am more inspired aout art in general than I have ever been. I would suggest that artists have a go at an altered book, or at least a mixed media piece at least once. It opens up all sorts of possibilities to an artist and gets the creative juices really flowing. If mixed media isn't normally your primary style, I think this type of art can make your primary art even better!