Saturday, April 20, 2013

310/365 Altered Books: The Not-So-Blank Page

Today I created a:
"delightful opportunity
to sit and dream"

Tomorrow I am taking a day-long mixed media art journaling workshop with, Orly Avineri, a visual journal artist and author whos work and spirit I very much admire. I am over-the-moon excited to play and learn with other creative souls in one of my most-loved art forms.

I spent the afternoon preparing the materials we have been asked to bring. Among them are my two favorite altered book art journals, both vintage cloth-covered hardbacks- one salvaged from a thrift store, the other from a cardboard box full of dollar books at a swap meet. One is an 8"x10" landscaping and gardening guide book from 1967, the other a 5"x7" wilderness survival handbook and journal from 1966.

Between them, they hold ten pages of my most playful mixed media creations in paint, photography, illustration and text (so far!). Ever since my first altered book explorations last summer, I have been diving deeper into the process of art journaling among the pages of these old books. Lately, I been spending more time here than in my blank art journals.

As part of my preparations today, I had to apply acrylic gesso (basically a white primer) to several pages of text so they would be ready for more mixed media layers tomorrow. I found it to be a very meditative and freeing experience. No thought involved, no decisions to make, no fear of messing up-  just me, my altered books and a cup of tea, sitting and dreaming of the possibilities on the freshly primed pages. I spread white paint and covered text and black and white images, working in reverse to create a somewhat blank canvas. During this process, I love to let the text peek through the paint as a graphic element and a layer of texture on the page. But I especially love the "delightful opportunities" for discovering the perfect snippets of found text. As always, they jumped out at me as my brush ran across the pages. We'll see if the words inspire my art journaling tomorrow.

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