Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Express yourself!

After having expressed myself and made sense of the world through writing, all my life, I decided a couple of years ago to try visual expression. I've been experimenting with collage, watercolor painting, altered books, bookmaking, and photography. I don't think I'm that good. I'm not being disingenuous here, I am an excellent writer but making my hands produce a pleasant looking 3-dimensional object that had formerly been in my brain is harder than constructing pleasant sounding sentences that say what you want them to say. At least for me it is.

But some friends with whom I have shared my art say it looks good. I won an award for a photograph I submitted to a statewide contest. One of my hard cover books sold at auction for $25. So with their encouragement I stepped into the semi-professional world of art by joining the International Society of Altered Book Artists and I joined The Art List, which offers the most extensive listing of art contests, art competitions, art opportunities and juried art shows available. I also bought a website domain and I'm in the process of designing a web page to show my work. And I inquired about studio rentals too. In for a penny...

Altered books are, according to the ISABA, any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be ... rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned. I like painting over the page but leaving certain words exposed that tell a different story than the one that's originally there. And then decorating to match.

Here's four pieces of recent work. Three are pages from the altered book I am working on, which are not done but give you an idea. The fourth is a page from my art journal, a collage.

Collage: Human Spirit Gone Awry

"Spirit conversion by intense labors and struggles"

"This brighter age supported wisdom"

"Ruinous distress crushed in an instant"


christie said...

Cool. Is it okay for me to have a favorite (i.e., This brighter age supported wisdom). I like it for the same reason I like the art we bought so many months ago -- just because.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Thank you! And sure, favorites are definitely OK. That one also happens to be my favorite, too.