Altered Books can alter your art life! by Mary Peterson

I am eagerly gearing up for the Altered Books class at Art Spot starting April 8th! Why so excited you say? Well, if you were a fly on the wall of past workshops you would’ve seen firsthand how rewarding and inspiring this art form is! There is something mysterious about finding and connecting to a book ..what story does it beg to tell, how will it respond to your ideas.

I think for most of my students the idea of transforming a book into something uniquely theirs is not only empowering but deeply satisfying. The themes and styles of an altered book run the gamut from literally using the books’ storyline to inform the artists alterations, to using the book to encapsulate a time and place, a feeling felt in a moment. I find that as I approach a new book I must be inspired by some idea. I have done a book based on a poem, a getaway, my childhood, even family recipes. My most recent project is tackling the theme of courage. I am looking at what I have done in my life that was courageous, no matter how small the act.

Sifting through old photos is a starting place. I also use the web to search for quotes on courage. I look for situations even as I prepare for this book where I have been challenged to be courageous, working through life’s challenges instead of throwing in the towel or giving in to discouragement. The workshop starts with prepping our found books to allow for all the paint , paper, ink, cutting and general artmaking that we will put into it! Each week we will add new techniques to our tool box.

Each class takes on a life of its own as the participants unwittingly or wittingly inspire each other. It is not uncommon to have confessions of secret stashes unveiled and shared treasures brought in for trading or general offloading! I am still fondling some luscious red vintage buttons one of my students generously donated to the last class. Do you have a theme or story you are itching to memorialize, but are not sure where to begin?

Let this be an invitation to put your creative self out there… gather your objets d’inspiration and join me in creating your own altered book ! To register for this 4 week class on Tues. evenings go here for pictures of student work visit my Facebook page here