Altered Book

 A couple of years ago I began an altered book as an example for a project my students were given. I've added to it slowly and I currently have four spreads finished. Well almost...
 This spread has a "window" cut out to reveal an illustration a few pages down which you can see in the first photo. Then I cut that page to work like doors revealing a quote inside by Kenneth Patton.

 The passage on this page by Henry David Thoreau I thought was very relevant today even though it was written over 150 years ago. The tree was drawn in tech pen and then painted with watercolors. The leaves were cut from a patterned paper and attached.
 This spread was inspired by the story of Dan Eldon. This one is still incomplete and I'm really stuck on it. My original intention was to collage photos and ephemera on it ~a la Dan Eldon journal style~ but I began drawing on the page one day when I was summoned for jury duty and had to sit around waiting with nothing to do for a couple of hours.

 This was the first page I did in the book and while I like it, it was my first attempt at mixed media ever so it's not very unified. It's hard to read but it says "I dreamt that I lived in France and everything was red, gold and green. I had images of the movie Amelie in my head while I was creating this page.

 This last spread is probably one of my favorites. Maybe because there's birds on it! Never realized how much I use them in my art! The theme for this one was inspired by the passage typed on the muslin fabric. It's from a song by Sting which seems very kitsch I know. But I've always thought that crows and ravens make great subjects because they seem to add an air of mystery and have a dark quality to them that other birds don't portray. The pseudo religious sentiments in the song lyrics contrasting with the imagery of a "murder of crows" appealed to me at the time as a great visual juxtaposition.

The green page in the middle has latin phrases written on it but I did it so long ago I can't remember what they were about. The cut out area in the center reveals an illustration in the book of a sculptural frieze in a gothic cathedral of the birth of Christ. I also put gold leaf on the torn edges.
And here is the unassuming cover. I don't know if I will decorate it. I like the fact that it looks so simple and yet it holds something completely unexpected inside.


  1. This is very cool. I'd leave the cover as-is. You should slip it into the shelves of a library.

  2. You make some seriously amazing art~~

  3. This is great, I started on a book a few years ago, I will have to find it now you have inspired me. Again

  4. Laura this is wonderful! I adore the tree and the fabric with the typed words on it. I think it's so wonderful too how the cover of the book gives none of the inside secrets away.