Red Pony Collage

I’ve just started making my first “altered book”, a multi-media exercise in which an old book is re-appropriated and given new life with a collage of paint, stitching, fabric, photographs and ephemera.

I’m a self-confessed “worry wart”, so have chosen Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living as my canvas. It may have been published in 1948, but the messages in this early “self help” book are still relevant. Not that you can read any of these through my artwork!

I’m using the altered book form as a personal art journal, in which I can let go of my tendency to perfectionism in favour of slapping together elements in a child-like fashion, letting my unconscious dictate anything remotely meaningful. The result is not necessarily pretty, but it’s sure cathartic.

I created the texture in this page with old wallpaper and molding paste imprinted with a piece of broken plastic I found on the road. This is overlaid with fabric from a vintage tie, tissue paper and a photograph I took of a children’s rocking horse in a backyard around the corner from my house. I limited my acrylic paint to brown, yellow, white and blue, along with a snippet of gold from a stamp pad.


Susan S. said...

This is fabulous, Kathleen! It's fantastic for letting go of perfectionist tendencies, something I suffer from, too.

I LOVE altered books! I've been making altered books and visual journals seriously for about two years now and I really enjoy them.

Kathleen said...

It's really hard to just "play", isn't it? I find toy cameras help me experiment and make the most of "happy mistakes".

Altered books are new for me. I'd love to see what you've been doing ... perhaps you could post something on your blog. I get a really inspiring magazine called Cloth Paper Scissors and am currently exploring mixed media techniques from the last two issues.

Kirralee said...

This is great! Really interesting. Your mixed media work is always awesome. Like the cowboys too, could do with some in perth ;-)

kerry b said...

how random of you Kathleen ,
you wild woman,you.