Gallery: Altered Book Arts

About the Altered Books:

I attended an art event in Portland called Mississippi May in early 2007, and it featured the work of local emerging artists. My favorite works in the show were the magical illustrations of Timothy Karpinski, painted onto the pages of old books. I loved this idea because I’d never seen books used as a canvas before, and the illustrations created their own story against the backdrop of the page. I was inspired and decided to apply the idea using photos, as my work at the time was primarily photography. This led to experimentation using inkjet image transfer paper to print my photographs within the pages of books. But the image transfer process didn’t mix well with the aged and brittle paper of book pages, so I left this idea on hold until I felt I had the right tools to create work in the way I envisioned.

In late 2007 I began to work in mixed media collage and spent the next two years developing a feel for techniques. My primary medium has always been film photography but as I worked more with a digital format I craved the satisfaction of creating work “hands-on”. In September 2009 I came across a wonderful book called, “New Directions in Altered Books” and suddenly my long neglected desire to work with books was reignited. It opened up a whole new world of artistic possibilities for me, and creating collage in three dimensions.

Creating altered book art is as much about the process as it is about experimenting with the materials I’ve used to create each work. I often start with a rough idea of something I wish to explore which can be inspired by the objects or materials I have on hand, or by ways in which I want to alter the pages of the book itself through cutting, folding, etc. The composition and material choices for each book evolves as I work on them, often over several days. Every altered book I complete is a handmade original creation, and I’m addicted to making them.