Sunday, August 14, 2011

I have been making collages for over 30 years I realized the other day. That is a seriously long time. I make them for a while and then like a lot of artists I will set them aside and go on to other mediums like printmaking and painting. But I always go back to it.
I believe the reason I always go back to it is that it brings back that sense of wonder I had as a child. I used to walk around and every where I looked there were interesting shells and magical rocks and all manner of precious ephemera that I would collect in a shoe box I kept under my bed. It seemed like there were treasures everywhere I looked. When you start doing collage you get back that feeling that there is treasure and magic out there everywhere and all you have to do is look.

I realized the other day that I had been altering books long before it was popular. When I was a child we would fold down one side of the pages of an old phone books and spray paint them green to make Christmas trees and when I was in my early teens my brother and I cut the middle out of a couple of books to make a hiding place for our transistor radios so we could smuggle them into school. Yes we were not the nicest little darlings......

One of the reasons I love altered books is that collage works very nicely with it. I like that I can print, paint or use my collage in it and also put all my thoughts in one place. I make sure I finish at least a page a day. I started with board books a quite few years ago but I have done a few altered hardcovers. The hardbacks are a little trickier and keeping the pages from buckling is a chore. But there are so many things you can do with them that it is really worth the trouble.

I have been doing a page a day for the last few months and I ma still amazed at all the options out there to alter the pages. Like I said this kind of creating brings out that sense of wonder that you seem to lose just by growing up. I am in heaven when I am creating collage and altered books.

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