Stages of a Drawing: Altered Book

Today I wanted to walk through the steps of creating a poem from the pages of an old book. The book I have been altering for quite some time now is “Prepatory German Reader”. I bought the book at the Trident book store on Pearl, in their $1 book cart. I loved the feel of the cover, the color of the pages, and the super cool german font. Although the majority of the book is in german the footnotes are often in English and can make great poems. I learned this technique in my Intro to Poetry class in college and really liked it. We had to make a poem like this for an assignment after researching the Poet Tom Phillips work, The HumamentThere are many ways to go about finding poems in old books, and a quick Google search will enlighten you the possibilities. However here is my process:

Step 1: Circle the words you want to turn into a poem. This is easier on some pages than others. For example the introduction and afterword were in all English so I found quite compelling poems. The page I am using for this post was less engaging but I made it work all the same

Ancient Power Progression

Step 2: Ink the lines you have created. I decided I didn’t like how heavy the bottom of the page was so I circled some stuff around the page. Another charming feature of this book is the handwriting of the previous owner. I circled some of his/her writing and some numbers.

Ancient Power Progression-1

Step 3: Fill in the rest of the page. I have been really enjoying squiggle arts. They are so calming to create. I drew lines around the shapes created by my words until the page was filled. I ended up with something looking somewhat like a topographical map

Ancient Power Progression-2

Step 4: Color it in! I used Crayons. (The ones from the other day)
Ancient Power Progression-3 Ancient Power Progression-4 Ancient Power Progression-5

Step 5: Make final edits. I decided I really hated the little shape in the middle of the page and filled it in the pen I used earlier. I also decided to embellish the page with some of my own words to add meaning (or not). Finally I signed it.

Ancient Power Progression-6

The Poem Reads-

singing tribe
56 25 30
mythology of the air, the storms
powerful rivers
twelve tribes. race twelve goddesses.
ancient power
 

Keep a look out for more pages of my altered book “Prepatory German Reader.”  I would like to have it filled by January 2014. *Fingers Crossed*

Sketchbook Saturday: Squiggle Art!

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Some of you may have seen my squiggle drawing from my Crayons post the other day. I don’t know what inspired me to start making these full page doodles, but I do them fairly often when I can’t think of something more artistic to do in my sketchbook. All of these are from my High School sketchbook and range in creation from 2005 – 2009. I’ve created them in a lot of different media, from crayon to marker to sharpie.

To make one of these I simple start by creating a few random shapes on a page, and then slowly trace those shapes over and over until the whole page is filled. When lines start intersecting I created larger paths. Before adding colors they look a bit like really bizarre topographical maps. Once drawn sometimes I will go back over the lines with a pen to make them sharper, and other times I will simple color in the lines. As you can see in some of the pictures sometimes I will use an image from a magazine for the shape instead of just drawing something random. The whole process is easy, fun, meditative, and relaxing. Its a good way to keep doing something artistic when you don’t have the brain for something more complicated.