Blog posts


August 2017 - Altered Books
May 2017 - Annoying Cat
March 2017 - Costumes and Props
February 2017 - T-shirt Mania
January 2017 - 52 Week Illustration Challenge
December 2016 - Wonder Woman Fleece Hat
September 2016 - Lonely Chair Stop Motion
August 2016 - Sponging Rocks
May 2016 - Creating art with kids
April 2016 - Pew pew pew
March 2016 - Garage Band
Febraury 2016 - Stikbots Videos
January 2016 - Cross stitching zombies
December 2015 - Monster Mobile
November 2015 - The Reversible Seal Hat
October 2015 - Hallowe'en Maker Month
May 2015 - Avatar, Harry Potter and Shopkins


August 2017 : Altered Books


I was intrigued by some posts I saw online about altered book art. This style of art uses pages from books and adds art work on top of the text to create the pieces. I saw examples using ink, pastel, acrylic paint and watercolour. Since I have a class coming up that is based on an artist that uses both images, words and weaving I decided to do some experimenting.

The first thing I did was pick up a used book that look old. I bought a copy of "Mostly In Clover" by Harry J. Boyle, printing in 1963. I loved the old look of the book and the older way it was written. From the snippets I glanced at the book seems to be about growing up in rural Ontario.

The next part was the hardest for me. Being a book lover I would never support destroying books so cutting a page out of a book was hard to do, not psychically but mentally. It took me three days to start the project because of this. I felt like I should at least read the book first but then thought maybe I'd get attached to it and then I wouldn't' be able to use it for this project. Silly I know but that's what ran through my mind.

Eventually I sliced a page out and started in on my first experiment.

I looked at the page I cut out and started to read though the text circling words that stood out, trying to weave together an sentence or thought with those words. I then decided on the imagery I wanted to reinforce the words I had chosen and the method by which I would create the art around the words.

On the first page I singled out the phrase "Growing up reading stories about the moon outlining rabbits in the cold winter. The withered trees were not thirsty." I liked the words because they referenced reading, wildlife and the harshness of winter. For my images I chose rabbits and stuck to a palette of cold blue tones. I had applied gesso to the page before I started to add ink and paint. Once I had the rabbits drawn out ink I added blue acrylic paint with watercolour overtop. Lastly I stitch a line with embroidery thread linking the words together in order, creating two sentences. I really liked how my first attempt turned out.


On my second try I thought I try a different approach. I did not gesso the page and used ink to outline and doodle around my chosen words, "The symphony and the twinkling lights frighten us. The sound travelled and burned like a demon." I wanted my doodles to look somewhat like sound emanating from the words. I then applying watercolour to the background around the inking using a red palette to emphasize the feeling of burning. Then I added coloured pencils on top to create the flames coming up from the page bottom. Lastly I stitched a line of curls connecting the three groups of words together. This one turned out to be my favourite both poetically and visually.

On my third try I used the gesso again and then applied alcohol ink and fluid acrylic to the page and the added white acrylic paint to cover up the negative space defining only the shapes that I wanted left behind. The text I chose to highlight was, "This armour of daring was suddenly bearing burdens of a mighty adventure.". I picked strong colours to go along with a feeling of a mighty adventure. I didn't find the images however, linked as well with the words, but I liked the overall look.

I would recommend trying this art project out to anyone. You can use whatever art skill set and supplies you have to create something like this and it's fun to try and pull words out from an existing body of text, like finding a hidden poem or creating a new meaning. I will probably play with this idea some more. It is a 225 page book afterall.