Altered Butterfly Book

Altered books are both a thief and a feast for creative expression.  Once I get started on a page, I am obsessed with it and ignore more productive, artistic pursuits.  It steals my creative energy and I've learned to avoid starting a new book or page when I am "under the gun" to get some work done.

On the other hand - altered books have proven to be a wonderful tool to get my students motivated, loosened up and inspired.  This year, I am doing an altered book day at least once a month with my two advanced classes and as in the past, my kids eat it up.  There is something naughty about taking an old, discarded book and filling it with paint, collage and drawings that thrills my students.  It also builds confidence in experimentation that ultimately serves my students in their other work.

This Friday I did a lesson which involved painting a light glaze of gesso across two facing pages then collaging found papers to create a focal point.  I asked my students to journal across the pages in a colored pencil then to do light washes of acrylic paint on top of their writing. 

I went on to take funnel-type coffee filters I had long ago purchased and washed them with splatters and drips of raw sienna paint.  When dried, I stamped a variety of different tea-stained stamps across the filters. On my computer, I printed out a butterfly on card stock, cut it out and decided to create a butterfly book in that shape.

I had some old twine, copper, feathers and wire which completed the butterfly which I laced to the page.

Again, this activity is always so satisfying and fun to do...a feast for a creative spirit.  Now I am obsessing about what to do with the opposite page....stay tuned because I probably won't sleep until I decide what goes there.


Do you know about the Honolulu Altered Books Group? their blog is full og lots og examples.

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