It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sorry Mr. Blake

A while back I tried my first altered book. I found an old book of William Blake poems and proceeded to "alter"( or change ) it into a work of art. When I was done I said "Never again."; and this is why.....
First of all: Never use a book, no matter how old, that matters to you. When I started to tear pages from this small old book I felt like I was killing my bantam chicken for dinner. I love books and this seemed almost sacrilegious. Being my first attempt at altering anything other than a hemline, I found the whole process painful.
Secondly: Have some idea what you want to do. Have a plan. I didn't and that my be what made the whole process so difficult. If I had thought about it ahead of time, I probably wouldn't have use "this" book. If I had thought about the guilt of tearing pages, I would have chosen something I didn't care about and the whole experience would have been so much better.
And last: Be fearless! I'm very new to "art". When I look at this altered book now, I think that it's not so bad. In fact, I'm kind of happy with the way it turned out. Maybe you have to suffer for your art; the way I suffer from arthritis and breathing after I clean and work on my gourds. I know that suffering teaches you appreciation, empathy and give you greater understanding of yourself; so maybe it makes you keep trying.... to be braver, better, and more creative too.
I keep hearing Blake saying;
" If you trap the moment before it's ripe.
The tears of repentance you'll certainly wipe;" Yes, I know I'm making a big deal out of this.
Just , please, use a book you don't care about or the author will haunt you.

2 comments:

castlewon said...

you just made Blake more yours :-)

castlewon said...

you just made Blake more yours :-)