Lately I have been captivated by the book. As you may have seen in my last blog post, as part of my “play” I took an old hard bound book and noodled around with it and turned it into something else entirely. Still a book, but altered in such a way as to make it very personal and fun. Since then I got a couple of other old books that I have started altering, but have gotten sidetracked by making my own sketchbooks (blank) and another book style that I shall call the spontaneous old print book, or SOP book.
I have a lot of old, failed mono prints and pieces left from cutting up and collaging works on paper. They are nice old bits so I have hung onto them (keeping old, failed work…that is another topic for another blog) knowing that eventually I will be able to find a use for them. So I dragged some out recently and below is a sequence of interior pages from one of the books. I am planning on going back into these SOP books and perhaps drawing or painting back into the pages.
These are full page spreads glued to board to make a sturdy book, reminiscent of a small child’s book. And here is one of the covers, made with another old print and painted tyvek for the spine which is a tough and good for an area of the book that gets handled a lot.
I have also made a number of my own sketchbooks. I like to make my own so I can make them the size I like and with the paper I like. Sometimes I use another old print for the cover like this:
And sometimes I just use plain covers so I can doodle and paint on them later, like this:
It takes me days to make one book, since they have to be glued and dried page by page, but it is a nice way to start the day while I am waiting for my wax to melt for my encaustic painting, or for getting warmed up to work on something else. I can work on these books for a few minutes or a few hours. It is more mechanical than creative since I have already done the creative part (the prints) making this is just a cut and paste exercise. I find it relaxing and a great way to get some new creative juices flowing.