Thursday, February 21, 2013

Altered Books

Judy Dahl's top left, Kerry Hart's top centre, mine top right, Kari Martin's bottom left and Don Campbell's two bottom right 

As part of the Claresholm Library's 75th anniversary festivities the Claresholm Artists and Artisans Club was invited to create altered books.  We are a small group of only a dozen or so members but five of us took up the challenge.

My book

At Win Dinn's workshop, last May, each participant was given an old law book. In our spare time ... I'm still asking "What spare time?" ... we were encouraged to alter these books; to make marks in them, to deposit left over paint and whatever else we could lay our hands on onto the pages. Mine was scarcely started when the library request came in but I felt it would be the perfect format in which to tell my mixed media story ...

Upper right; a smaller print of my first mixed media piece

Once I had a focus for my book transforming the pages became pure delight for it embraced so much of what I love; designing, chronicling, painting, photography and my latest obsession of mixed media messing. I reveled in the stamping, pasting and scouring for appropriate embellishments!

In all, my book has 24 layouts (2 page spreads). It is meant to be handled, read and pondered over. If you find yourself at the Claresholm Library be sure to take it down from the display and look through it. I'd love it if you would.

Judy Dahl took a similar approach with her book, she painted and adorned 28 layouts.  Originally focusing on what a pretty witch, at the begining of the 20th century, might be found looking at.

As these mixed media projects are wont to do, Judy's bewitched book changed direction during it's creation and the final pages became a personal and family history.

 The exquisite, rich textures of Judy's book beg to be handled too ...

 I'm sure many would agree with me about how Kerry Hart's book is indeed the most original of all ...

A brilliant concept masterfully rendered! 

After her cat ate her first elaborately folded and painted book, Kari Martin turned around and created this clever and cheerful flower pot book ...

Don Campbell excelled in creating not one but three books! His star masterpiece, with the number 75 artfully cut through it's many pages, graces the welcoming table at the libray's entrance where it makes the perfect centrepiece greeting.  

Don's Garden Book
Don's Beatrix Potter library

The books will remain on display at the Claresholm Public Library for the entire month of February, 2013.


  1. What a fabulous post, and even more fabulous books! I am always amazed at the things that artists do to transform a 'decommissioned' book into an art form, and these are truly incredible. Well done, all...I so wish I could be there to see them.

    1. Ah Win, I do wish you could see them ... and perhaps you still might ... at the artist book exhibition "TURNING THE PAGE" on at Sunny Raven Gallery, Canmore, in July!

  2. How wonderful all of these are and what a creative bunch of people. I must admit that my 'book' from Win's classes is still mostly empty - I can't seem to get the book habit but maybe someday.

    1. My book sat with barely any pages altered UNTIL it had a purpose. Only then did doing it made sense and I went at it full speed ahead. To the point where I wished I had more "layouts" left to fill! I am totally goal and deadline oriented!