Saturday, July 25, 2009

Exhibit - Altered Book - Food Poisoning

You never know when an idea will pop into your head. I say, go with it. The quirkier, more unlikely the subject - the bigger the challenge. That's my way.

There is a little community just outside of Arnold, in the Sierras that hold a wonderful annual flea market on the first Saturday and Sunday in August. It's called the White Pines Flea Market. Not only do they have amazing "finds" but they also have someone playing the piano in the food room with home baked goodies. And the friendliest nicest volunteers who put the whole thing together. I do my best to support them by buying lots of fun things. One year I browsing the tables of books, and sort of had my eye out for older bindings and interesting titles. Well, this little narrow book caught my eye. A book titled FOOD POISONING. When I opened it I realized it would not sell. They were going to be stuck with it. But, then I had an Ah Ha!!! moment. Why not alter it?

Okay, so here I am holding this nondescript innocent little book and not an idea in the world what I would do with it. But then I look around and find a little book with Shakespeare quotes. What could be more challenging than altering a book and using Shakespeare text and keeping with the theme of Food Poisoning? That's all it took. It clicked! For me. Everyone I told about it thought it was a stupid or nutty idea, but the idea tickled my fancy - I could hardly wait to start it.

This is an example of my process. Not necessarily in this order though. Find a book. Pick a theme. Find the words and the images. Then lay it out. In this case, I followed the chapters in the book, covering things like meats and eggs and oatmeal, etc. Selecting the images was fun - and matching them to the words. One one page I cheated and used a quote of Woody Allen's -about Oysters. I could not resist. The rest of the text was either "found" on the pages themselves, or from the Shakespeare book. Then put it together and add my art touches.
Finding the suitable images and words is one of the great joys of altering a book with a theme. It's research. It's something I love.

I usually do not do any preparation of pages, except to isolate "found" text until after I have it laid out with images and text. Once it is laid out, then I start gluing and adding my art. We'll go into this more in another post.

This tiny little book has 33 spreads. You can see more on my Picture Trail album.

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