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Here is a little corner of the world devoted to all things to do with the "Amazing Grace Artists" Faith Based Art Group on Facebook and what we have going on on there and out in the world...Perhaps I can persuade you to join us if you haven't already!

I hope to at least be able to inspire you to create something, make you think, and maybe, just maybe, show you something new now and then! Most of all, I hope to give YOU, a safe and caring place to just relax and share your special, God Given artsy gifts with others! So be sure to leave comments if you are touched by anything here, and please-share your thoughts and ideas with us all! Art is for everyone-it comes from our hearts and souls, and I think we should share it with everyone and show them how easy living an art-filled, creative life can be. Be sure to watch for free product giveaways and contests also!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Found Poetry, Altered Text and Altered Books: Laura Thykeson, The Uncommon Artist



Hello everyone! Have you been working on your altered books, or doing some sort of creative outlet? I sure hope so....although with the weather finally warming up a bit, it is getting harder to stay still and work on your art and creations, isn't it? I am having a hard time concentrating myself, as the beautiful weather we are having here is a bit distracting, lol!

Still, I am not here to give a weather report, I am going to talk about "found Poetry" and "found text" and "altered text" and "altered poetry" in altered books (confused yet?). There is a bit of a difference in them, and either or all can exist in your altered book, if you wish. But first, you have some decisions to make, and those require a bit of thought and planning before you jump into the middle of your book and start painting, drawing, etc.

As much as I love to "jump the gun" on projects and just do what comes to mind first, occasionally I like to plan a project and think it out beforehand. So, what I am going to do on this next book is use found poetry that I am going to get out of magazines and glue the words and phrases to the page after I have decorated the pages like I want. That way, I can match the words to the art better. Usually, I do the poetry first, and use the pages of the book I am working on, but I decided I wanted to do something new, so I am going to do the artwork first, whether collage, painting or a combination of both, and then add the words I have chosen from different magazines (I knew I has hoarding those magazines for a good reason...:).


Here is a little peek at a book I am working on, where I am using the actual text of the book, making "found text", not "found poetry". The difference is that there is no real poetic metre or flow to the words, it is more like I am writing my own book or story, using different words of the original book in the order they come in the original book. This page says:

"The sprawling
old trees shimmered
in the
ephemeral green countryside."

Great beginning line for a book of altered text, because it sets a location right from the beginning!

This is infinitely harder to do than just cutting out words and gluing them in the order that you want, but it is also very rewarding to see your story come to life as you add artwork or illustrations to the story, even if it is a bit nonsensical at times! I suggest that you use a spiral notebook as a workbook for your altered book, to write down your words as you go and make any notes, so you can easily read the story as you go along, making sure that you have both the words in the order that you want them, as well as making sure that the story is still going the direction you want it to. The spiral workbook is also great for jotting down artistic ideas as you go along, so you can go back and review them while doing the art and illustrations in your altered book. The spiral can also be altered later and the writing you have done in it can be made into a work of art itself! Just think of all of the artistic things you can do with the words and sentences and phrases you have created and written down!

Use pencil at first to make any marks or drawings, even in your spiral workbook, then go back and make your marks and lines more permanent with permanent ink, acrylic paint, etc, depending on what your art medium of choice is. If you want to use watercolors, be sure to not use a lot of water or make them too juicy, or you may run the risk of ruining your pages, and losing part of your story. you can also use gesso on the pages first, then a layer of absorbent ground (made by Golden)...!


Here is another page from ANOTHER altered book I am working in, where I did the found text or "altered text" as I like to call it. The words are:

"For a moment I think about
soupy fog. The light's subdued, the
tones muted, so I take off-
Sorrowful,
to the church."

Notice I added my own punctuation to this paragraph... I think it helps the reader to understand what you are trying to say with your altered text in your altered book. Kind of like "artistic license"! That is one of the most wonderful things about making altered books, and working with this type of art form-there are no rules! I hope you try these suggestions, and if you do, post it to your blog and send me a link so I can see what you have created, you creative genius!

Until later, "Happy creating!"