“Altered books”–A Creative Possibility

I’ve been forced to slow down. Now I’m attempting to embrace this new reality. I’ve started a “Gratitude” scrapbook–actually an “altered book” to please my collage/artist self and to escape into my “right brain” as often as possible. Quilting and gardening previously allowed me to play as my collage/artist self.

What is an “Altered book”? I use an oversize hard back book with lots of photos to become the canvas supporting my alterations. I alter the book by adding bits and pieces of paper, graphics, fabric, and usually favorite quotes. Most of the original photos and all the text is obscured by my additions. Lila Rostenberg, my talented artist friend, introduced me to the idea in fall of 2009. To start, I found a decades old, 11″ x 11″ book by the artist Flavia for $.99 at the used bookstore. It took me several months to fill the pages with quirky, Paula-pleasing bits and pieces. As I collaged my way through the pages I created a one-of-a-kind scrapbook for myself. It is now one of my most prized possessions!

Later, Lila and I did a shared book by passing it back and forth between us as each of us added a variety of elements. It was great fun, and without pressure!

This is the dust cover of the hardback book I chose for my "Altered book".

This is the dust cover of the hardback book I chose for my “Altered book”.

Current cover of my "Gratitude" book. This cover, too, is subject to be changed....

Current cover of my “Gratitude” book. This cover, too, is subject to be changed….

Two weeks ago I started with a 10″ x 11″ found book by a different artist. I decided to make a “Gratitude” book so I could play and to remind me of everything and everyone I have to be thankful for. All of your messages to me, whether by email or otherwise, are now in my “Gratitude” book. Each of your words to me has been translated from cyberspace into letters on a page, then pasted into this oversized, recycled book. My book is filled with scraps and textures, graphics and colors that please me. My left handed scissors assist, but often I prefer the ragged edges of torn paper.

Here are a few examples of the interior pages I collaged:



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One Response to “Altered books”–A Creative Possibility

  1. Valerie Alsbrook says:

    What a great idea!! Thank you Paula, and Lila. Your creativity and generosity overflowth!

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