Altered Book: rev 1.1

"Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage: a myriad-faceted picture containing the elegances, the squalor, the curiosities, the monuments, the sad faces, the triumphant faces, the power, the irony, the strength, the decay, the past, the present, the future of a city – that would be my favorite picture."
Berenice Abbott

details from the full page

detail, grunge art journal background; altered book

in process shot of the first layers of gesso, fiber paste, acrylic, etc.


20x12" art journal spread from altered book project "tekenfilm" plus detail of purple grunge background.

Starting strong with my first official journal pages of the first annual NaNoJouMo, National NonStop Journaling Month at the fun D'Blogala. This is my version of cheerful grungy, starting with a map on one page and sheet music on the other. Before my marvelous photo printer crashed a few weeks ago (making a noise like gears winding backward over rock salt, bewildering the free help desk), I pulled together a mosaic of my art and some fabrics I'd photographed and printed so that the images were about 1x1". Anyhow, I used sections of that in the background as well. Layer after layer of Golden fluid acrylics with a Starbucks card. To add texture, a bit of Golden fiber paste applied with fingers, and for some transparency, Golden fluid matte medium. And neocolors. And some stuff I can't even remember. The book measures 10x12" closed, a massive 20x12" open. $1 at the discount book store.

This was a blast and I love how it turned out! I didn't realize how inspired I've been by our summer european travels, especially urban Amsterdam. This background is ready for anything ~ collage, journaling ~ when the mood strikes.

If you haven't altered a book yet, find a solid hardback book, from the discount shelves of Half Price Books, your bookshelf, a flea market etc and gesso the pages to strengthen them and provide a good surface. If the pages are ultra thin, you'll need to glue every two pages together with Mod Podge or another adhesive to strengthen the pages. If the book gets too bulky, carefully tear out a page here and there.

More pages in the tekenfilm altered children's book project.