Saturday, April 5, 2008


The cavity in the book is now hollowed out, as much as I want it to be. That presented me with a choice: decorate the inside of the book box, or the outside.

I still haven't quite figured out what I'm doing inside, and I had come up with some ideas for the outside, so the choice was logical, for me, anyway. (An even more logical choice might have been to do housework, but faced with the options of art and housework, there needs to be some pressing need for sudden tidiness to compel me to choose cleaning over creating!)

A number of possible styles had occurred to me, all of them radically different. Elegant. Country. Cute. Vintage. Very Vintage.

Ah. Vintage. They've been doing wonderful things in Somerset Studio Magazine, including the controversial Hats and Wings collage art. There are people who have "issues" with adding hats and wings to images and calling it art. I call it fun, and since it had been in my mind I decided that was the route I'd take decorating my new Book Box.

Yesterday, I painted the book. You might want to prime your book cover with gesso, but I liked the aged forest green of mine, so I dry brushed a coat of navy over it, letting the green show through a bit, and when that was dry, adding another sparse coat of paint, this time black. My plan was to wire brush through to the green when I was done with the collage.

Don't you love happy accidents? I discovered when I did the wire brushing that the brass bristles left traces of themselves behind, making the book look like it was brushed with gold.

This morning I got up eager to create the collage.

I pictured a 1920's or '30's black and white photo of a matronly woman, maybe sitting on the porch or looking out the window of an old, decrepit, even spooky, house. Dark, possibly a little forbidding.

Accordingly, I first went into the music room, where I had some old Etude magazines. I knew there'd be photos of opera singers. That would be good. Then I went down to my office and gathered up all the back issues I own of Communication Arts. Their annual Illustration and Advertising issues are wonderful, crammed with all kinds of pictures, in every genre imaginable. I'm constantly on the alert for them at garage sales and in thrift stores.

Well, the first thing that happened was I fell in love with a guy's face and expression. The matron went out the window, along with her house. The man grew wings made from palm fronds and flamingo beaks, and sprouted a tall pointy hat. Then he acquired a lovely wife. And indulged in conversation.

Did I say dark? Did I say forbidding? Art knows what it wants. Or else, I'm just a bit demented.

No protective coating yet, but finished design

I'm a big fan of rubber cement. It's so forgiving if you "glue outside the lines", but found it was not as sticky as I'd hoped, so next time I'll try a different glue. (Open to suggestions here.)

When you've laid out all your design elements and are sure you know where you're putting them, you can begin to glue them down. Things that are multi-layered, such as Finkydoodle's hat, which has five pieces, you may want to glue together and then add as a unit.

Here are two detail shots:

Can we talk?

What do you mean, is that what I'm wearing?

Next and final step: Finishing the inside of the Book Box.


Related Posts with Thumbnails