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*

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Graffiti in Paris

In 2011 I studied abroad for the summer in Paris. I saw a LOT of art in museums while studying the famous artists of Paris. However, I also saw a lot of cool art on the streets. I was amazed at the breadth of materials used in Parisian Graffiti. It may have simply been that I have never lived in a big city with plenty of time and places to create super interesting street art, but I enjoyed the variety all the same.

The majority of street art that I saw were put up with wheat paste. Wheat paste is a really cheap glue that dries relatively quickly. It allows an artist to premake their art or design on light paper and then simply slap it onto the wall with some paste. I like these works a lot because they are often really detailed, and as the paper wears due to weather they gain a certain character.

I was also excited to see a Space Invader while in Paris. The artist Space Invader is relatively well known due to his specific style. He recreates pixellated characters from video games with colorful ceramic tiles. I can never know if the piece I saw was an actual space invader, or created by an imitator, but I’m not sure it matters.

I also saw a ton of graffiti on the walls of the metro. However I didn’t get any pictures of that art because the metro moved so fast and the lighting was too poor. The idea of temporal, guerilla art that is accessible to lots of people, due to its public nature, really appeals to me. However, flirting with “the law” or what not has always kept me from experimenting with street art.