Here is the latest installment in my altered book. I started this spread by gluing down two layers of tracing paper. This gave me a nice textured surface from which to work. I next mixed some green watercolor and applied a watery layer of it to the page enjoying the way in settled into the wrinkles on the paper. Once that had dried I lightly dabbed the surface with gesso and then went further to rub some of the wrinkles with the gesso to pick up the design of the texture. I added some blue and red watercolor over this but was not thrilled with the result. Once that had dried a bit I went back over the entire surface with a watery layer of gesso tinted with a bit of watercolor. I liked the pastel color of the surface after that application. Today I added the marker designs at the bottoms of the pages. The green was a bit stronger than I would’ve liked. However, it does lend some nice contrast. The pink was just the right intensity for the effect I was seeking. Overall I am pleased with the result.
This two page spread is a wide departure from the others done thus far. However, I like it’s bold graphical style. I figured out that it is the torn edges of the black segments that make them appear a bit 3-D and as if, at times, like they are not glued down. They are. To those I added marker, crumpled and sanded magazine scraps, and some rice paper which can’t really be seen. I like the rather dark mood of it. Perhaps it is a result of all the dark weather we’ve been having. We actually got a “moment” of sunshine this morning and I’m hoping for more before I go off on my bike ride. Enjoy!
Spread 5 – Take 2
Spread 5 – Take 1
My altered book is about all I have had time to work on this week. I have been creating a new website for my art. These two spreads are not complete yet, but I thought I would share their progress so you can see them develop. I particularly like the black and white one. The paper looks almost as though it is 3D for some reason. And it plays with my eyes. Is it black paper on white or white paper on black? It is, in fact, black on white. I love the power of this spread and can’t wait to get back to work on it. The other spread is delicate. More delicate than any of the other spreads I have done in this book so far. I’m not sure if I am going to try to punch it up more, or leave it soft as a rest for the eyes from the other more colorful pages. I think perhaps it needs some small details to contrast with the larger more prominent shapes. Time will tell.
The sun is shining here in New England today for the first time in days. I got out for a ride on my bike to enjoy it and it was wonderful. Enjoy your weekend everyone!
I did manage to find some time for my altered book yesterday. It felt good to be back working on my pages and getting my hands dirty. I actually worked on three 2 page spreads but this one is the most complete of the three. It was done with a wash of ink mixed with gloss medium, tracing paper, tissue paper, water soluble crayons, regular crayons and marker. I started with the large shape at the base of the right hand page. I glued and pulled off some magazine pages before getting started with the ink/medium mixture. From there it was a lot of experimentation and fun. Stay tuned for the next couple of spreads!
I found this postcard in my study. There were a few there that I had put together a couple of years ago. This one jumped out at me. I am sure that I took the faces from a National Geographic magazine. They were probably some ancient treasures from a forgotten civilization. I am struck now, as I’m sure I was then, by the eyes. Because the eyes were cut out they have this rather eerie quality. On the one hand they strike me as scary. On the other hand they seem to have a worldly-wise feeling about them Perhaps that comes from the fact that they are old. What did they see and what did they experience? They look like serious judges ready to decide someones fate. Or maybe they seem bored and tired. How do they appear to you?
I’m still working with a lot of 3D materials as I try to figure which direction I want to take. I started transforming some boxes a while back and I had gotten them out recently for a demo that I did on collage. I pulled them out today and started working on them again. I also grabbed some new ones and began transforming them.. The idea is to cover them with crumpled wax paper. Then I use a combination of ink and crayon to color the surface rendering the original box much harder to make out. I have this growing fascination with using discarded objects as the basis for my work. Green art so to speak. I plan to eventually assemble these boxes into some sort of sculpture though I’m not sure whether it will be free-standing or whether it will hang. I had used a lot of wax paper in the past and it’s fun to be working with it again. I am using the cast-off wax paper that we had placed under my daughters school project to protect surfaces from glue. Reuse and recycle. I guess the Detritus show that I am a part of has had a real impact on me!
My boxes – some completed and some in progress.
The new boxes I started to transform today.
A better shot of the completed ones – or at least I think they are complete!
It would be better to think of the arts as, like physical exercise, a primary human need.
So I have been working on the second 2 page spread of my altered book. I was searching to get the type of balance I managed to find in the first spread. It took some time to work through. I added a glaze and some additional papers but still hadn’t gotten the effect I wanted. I tried covering the two pages with tracing paper to give it unity, and then painted over it with watercolor. The real breakthrough came when I ripped that layer off after it had dried somewhat! It added an effect that I really liked and I reapplied some of the scraps and liked where it was going. Some areas were too bright and disconnected so I used a crayon to color softly over those areas to meld them into a whole. I think it has definitely progressed from the first iteration.
I have been at work all morning in my studio and have worked on a number of different projects. I have posted below the next two page spread in my altered book. As usual I believe that this is a good start, but likely not the final rendition. However, for the time being I’m letting it dry thoroughly while I determine where to take it next. I also did some work on an old altered book, though I have not taken pictures of that one. It had some issues with pages threatening to fall out so I worked to get it back to a more stable condition. My thought is to perhaps enter it in a juried show called Industrial Design, but it will likely need some more work to be worthy. More on that later.
I am also working on a three dimensional piece using recycled (or rather upcycled) materials. I am aiming to make these materials beautiful and then hang them in such a way that they also cast lovely shadows. I have been fascinated by work that is able to combine those two aspects. I have posted some pictures below of some of the “contestants” for this project. I have tried using bottles, but today latched onto the idea of using clear packing materials. They cast a lovely shadow and the colored drawing I have done on them comes through in the shadows. I am still experimenting and haven’t come up with the ultimate answer yet. However, I feel I am working in the right direction!