Thursday, July 4, 2013

Collage and pocket picture books

Collage, Pocket Picture Book, and Altered Texts 1997-2013

In March of 1997, I packed up all of my possessions and moved to Washington State from Denton,TX.   I was out of college, having recently graduated from the University of North Texas. I was without a permanent home and a studio to make art. While trying to figure out where to live and work I had a strong yearning to make art to help combat the stress I was facing with the uncertainty.   Lo and behold, while staying a few nights in my grandmother's basement in Pasco, WA, I discovered the art of altered books.  In her basement was 2 complete sets of Encyclopedia Brittanica, outdated textbooks on Atomic and Solar Energy, and several volumes of National Geographic.
  A friend of mine in college, Jason Rutherford had been making altered books for quite sometime and I decided that this art was ideal for portability.     The text also was exciting, because as a novice writer with a degree in English Composition, I could form a story by using imagery and text that was already available but change the wording and phrasing and imagery by using cut and paste methods by hand.  The juxtaposition of images could create a story of it's own and often create a great piece of art.
   In all, from 1997 to 2004 I created 62? books with unique subjects, titles, and imagery.  Since then and currently I have created dozens more. What started out as pure collage soon morphed into a plethora of art forms.    I have explored drawing with colored pencils, graphite, pen, ink, marker, charcoal;  I painted with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, egg tempera, and even oil.   I used found objects, photos, ephemera, and memorabilia. I used linoleum, woodcuts, silkscreen and styrofoam to print. I also wrote poetry, philosophy, and humorous phrases.    The books became pocket sized art galleries.   I saved a few for my own collection, many were given to friends.  Most of the books were over 20-60 pages apiece with a few having over 100. Here is a list of most if not all of them, including some I am still working on.
1. Atomic Comfort 1997
2. Texass: Steers and Queers 1997
3.Atomic Bomb
4. Mars Mission
5. The Elusive Mind of Man
6. The Wonderworld
7. How to Raise and Train a Dog
8. Bug: The Realm of the Insect
9. Astronuts
10.  The F.B.I. (Fun Being Ill) note: over 200 pages
11.  Health and How to Get It
12.  Outer Surfaces in Interstellar Spaces
13. Wonderworld: Book 2
14.  I Inhaled
15. Bar Talk:  The Bathyscaphe and Beyond
16. Youth Trip
17.  The Healing of Sick Minds by Iman Sane*
18. Wonderworld Jr.
19.  Landforms
20.  Wonderworld 2: Geothermal Unit
21. Let's Fly by Ace Pilot*
22. Birthday Kate (note: present for my wife)
23.  The New Lust Blues
24.  Rainbow Planet
25.  Eureka: I Found It!
26.  Tooth Movement Jr. : Baby Tooth Baby
27. Vantage y Gorge: to Columbia
28. Handyman's Guide To Romance
29. Handyman's Guide to Manhood (68 pages)
30. The New Funklopedia (30 pages)
31. Tooth Movement
32.  Tooth Movement Tooth
33. Tooth Movement Threeth
34.  Mixed Greens (30 pages)
35.  Hampy Camping Handbook (32 pages)
36.  Space Age: Return of the Astronuts
37.  Rubbish  #
38.  "L" Practice (gift to Mom)#
39. On Time
40.  The Handyman (46 pages)
41.  Pocket Rocket Handbook  (24 pages)#
42. American Heritage Jr. (24 pages)
43.  The F.B.I. Project: Boredom  (48 pages)
44. Rainbow Planet 2 (36 pages)
45.  Big Galoot (38 pages)
46. "c"  (30 pages) #
47. Lies: the Book of Truth (34 pages)
48.  Quigly's Guide to Scribbling  (32 pages)
49. Redneck's Guide to Violence
50.  Down South
51. Invasion of the Minds
52. Humboldt Honey
53.  Reflections  (20 pages, made in  2003)  see below
54. Reflections Accordian
55, Gone Fishing (gift to Dad)
56. Crash Pro Handbook by Ace Pilot*
57. Eddie y Rosela (48 pages)
58. The Park (28 pages)
59. Art Seen
60. Art Seen Too
61. New York Minute
62.  Spot#
63. Drop#
64. Magic Carpet Ride
65. Combustible Journal (32 pages see below) 2006
66. Waterworks
67. Planet x
68. Mystic Sons of Morris Graves
69. Poppycock
70. Ballyhoo
71.  Portland
72. Seattle +
73. Swimming Pools
74. Art Seen Three
75.  Emily's Friends and Significant Others+
76.  LOLA+
77.  Joey+
 78. Madelyn+
79.  She's Crazy Quilting+
80.  Cityscape
81.  Art Desert
*written under a fictional name
#Mini book
+ Works in progress

I still have some of these books.  Below are some examples of a few.

Invasion of the Minds
56 pages of art created in 2003.  paintings, drawings, collage, found objects, found photos, found slides, found ephemera, print making.  Bound with copper wool and hemp fiber, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches in size.
Cover with copper wool binding and wood-fired terra cotta beads on hemp string

Inside front cover printed with ink, drawn with markers

The Mind from pages 2 and 3 watercolor, acrylic, collage imagery and marker

pottery via piano,  photo, watercolor, ink, and collage

daydream, acrylic paint, watercolor, found objects, and  textbook paper

All You Have is What You Know

Brain on the Cosmic Plane(left),  Correspondence with Al Finnell (right)

Mind Eraser

These Minds Know......... More Than We Think

Don't Be Fooled..... Because The Mind Already Knows

What Were You Thinking?

Auditory This, watercolor and ink on textbook imagery, found polaroid photo

OM, watercolor on textbook imagery

Crash Pro Handbook by Ace Pilot*
40 pages of art.  Made in 2004.  Contains paintings, drawings, woodcut print, linocut print,collage, found photos, found objects, found song lyrics, found drawing, found blue angels stickers and more
Inspired by a weekend job I had at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.  5 1/2 x 5 inches

Crash Pro Handbook Cover.  Red String Binding

Found song lyrics.  These were written inside a sketchbook I found at a thrift store along with some drawings.

In a crash situation it is important to be prepared.  A list can help.  Found photo on right.

These are plans from a real airplane that I discovered in a trash can in the catacombs of the museum.  

woodcut print

Linocut print... originally titled Guitar Wolf, this print is re-used here as a portrait for Ace Pilot.
The Combustible Journal
32 pages of drawings, paintings, collage, text, linocut, and burnings finished in 2006
This book was roughly based on the idea of burning books and that if the viewer did not like what was in it at least the book could be burnt for warmth. 

inside cover and first page
painting of fire, acrylic on textbook page
"The Fire was warm and bright I thought about my family and friends and held my hands closer to the fire.  I wasn't afraid.  Then I thought about glass and how it's kinda like fire"
Combustible Position

Farm House Fire

"If there is anything to this combustible journal there must be some sort of ignition device which would make it sometimes able to convert itself to fuel" 
This book is 20 pages of original art.  Drawings, Paintings and photography on various papers.  The cover is made of cardboard with a metallic silvery coating.  Bound with Ribbon scraps.  This book was originally received in a trade with another artist at the Occidental First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square.   I altered the book by adding pages, changing the cover, and adding all the art .
Reflections Book Cover 6 3/4 x 6 3/8 inches

Left is watercolor, right is a photo of a tree in Denton, TX on  Ponder Street

acrylic color fields

Strange Musings

Architectural Visions

Are we a reflection of our surroundings?

The Mirror reflects our thoughts

The Beast Within

Self Portrait Thoughts

The weird thing about making books like these is often a lot of serendipity occurs while putting together pages and the story line.   Images seem to appear when needed and text just somehow fits. Once I would get on a roll, it was hard to stop, so I just kept on going. The books are great for documenting a trip, an event, or acting as a sketch book of sorts.

Bleacher Creatures from the book Magic Carpet Ride

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