Defending Blue: The Altered Book

Recently I responded to a photography challenge from

Lens-Artists-a photo a week-Blue .

Of course, the BLUE is what caught my eye but the whole thing inspired me to write up the short version of a wonderful art experience I had a few years back.

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My long-time friend invited me to join a yearlong project, along with seven artists. (Please notice I did not say seven other artists, as I am maybe an interesting craft person, at best. But I was honored to be in the company of these true artists!!)

The project was rotating Altered Books.

An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning. Wikipedia

This was our assignment. Choose a color theme. And then find a book to “alter”…. meaning just that…a book to change in any way you want.

We informed each other of our chosen colors (blue, red, green, orange, pink, brown, purple, yellow) and set off on our 12 month journey with each other.

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Our procedure was to start our own book, work on it for a month or so, and then mail or take it to the next person on the list. Then they would work on our book, in our color, and we would work on the book we received, using that color. The process is brilliant because you are thinking about all your co-artists throughout the year, watching for. and gathering, ideas and supplies for each of the others’ color themed books. (It was cool that our particular group also knew each other so the ideas we had for each book could have personal meaning, as well as working in that person’s color.)

After a month or so, working with the new color, we would mail or take that book to the next person in our rotation, and so on until we had each worked on every other book.

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The thing I loved most was as each new book arrived, it was like opening a birthday gift. Discovering the current month’s color and seeing what the last person had done with it was so exciting. And of course, as we neared the end, we got to see the project almost completed, with  many different interpretations of that color and of each person’s style of “altering”.

Sometimes the words on particular pages were used as a focus for the altering.

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Other times, it was the actual structure of the book (pages glued together and cut out in shapes).

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And there were even some very clever “pop-outs” so when you turned a page, something surprising would happen.

Since BEADS and BUTTONS are my primary craft addiction, I used a lot of those. But because we were emailing like crazy, sharing tips and checking in, we were learning new techniques from each other along the way (photo transferring, different washes, newly discovered glues, cool sticker sources, Exacto knife methods, etc.).

With each book we signed, left a book mark, or in some way identified our contribution.

 

We didn’t return the last book we worked on to its owner. Instead, we brought it to a gathering on a previously planned weekend. We met at a cabin on Hood Canal, so we could open our own books in front of each other. Every book got hours of attention, each page turned, a new gift! We got to talk about what we had done and why, how we had altered, what each color meant to us, etc.

 

And of course, this was a celebration, so there was food and wine and music too!!!

All in all, it was a memorable experience, one I would love to do again in my life. What a fun way it would be to get to know other Bloggers!

I just had another great idea! What if we did a rotating altered photo album. I know, I know, it would be easier online but what if we each found an actual photo album or scrap book, each picked a theme, (trees, babies, sunsets, politics, whatever!!) and then rotated our albums, sharing our own photography in that theme.

Think of the great coffee table book we could each end up with!

Wow.

ChosenPerspectives on Twisted for WPC 5/23/18

Twisted

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My life is full of Art, but it is also full of artists who define “art” very differently from me.

My best friend is an expert, having studied and collected art for most of his life. He is also a very talented artist in his own right. We’ve had an ongoing debate for more than 40 years about what actually qualifies as art and who gets to define it. I know we are not alone in this disagreement.

I found the following online at:

https://www.performingarts.vt.edu/blog/view/defining-art-in-one-sentence-or-less

“The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines art as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” My own definition of art is the sharing of one’s inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, visions, and struggles through multiple mediums.” 

Wondering what all this has to do with “twisted”?

I think his choice of art is twisted…and I’m sure he thinks mine is invalidly defined as art in the first place.

The photo at the top of this post is a gift my best friend gave me many years ago. I’m sure it was expensive and to many, would be defined as art.

I just think it’s twisted.

He actually spent money on that piece for me, where as I bought myself these pieces.

 

 

Here are some more examples of “art” in his home and “art” in mine.

 

 

His is on the left, mine on the right

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His choice on top

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My choice is “twisted” artwork from my grandson, at 9 and then 11 years old.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying my best friend is twisted. As a matter of fact, here is my newest absolute favorite piece of art, ironically, a gift from him. Not my chosen “style” by any means but he knew how moved I would be by this piece!

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I, on the other hand, by the definition of many, am quite happily Twisted.

Here’s proof:

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I mean, who runs for their camera before rescuing the cat stuck in the speaker cabinet???

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And who focuses on the body of the dragonfly, rather than on the beautiful flowers?
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And who becomes obsessed with their new phone camera’s macro feature when accidentally shooting her sweat-pant leg?
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And who screeches her car to a halt to snap a photo of the shadow of windshield water on her dashboard?
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Who thinks the frosting stain on the cake box is the equivalent of a Jesus face on burnt toast?
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And who in the world photographs fungus??

I do, that’s who. So I will now officially, and gladly accept the adjective of TWISTED!

I am in great company, as you know if you have ever read The Shameful Sheep or Jennifer Day at The Iconophile, two of my favorite bloggers.

I really felt it while I was going through all kinds of contortions trying to photograph my friend’s art, including, taking his series called “the 7 deadly sins” into a dark closet to eliminate some of the reflection. Didn’t work, and besides, too creepy! This is as good as I could get.

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This is a seriously twisted series and the photos are lousy!

It’s not just about art though.

Just the other day, a newish friend, while I was introducing him to my Bugs, asked me if I realized just how twisted it was for me to be this enthusiastic about them.

He has no idea. Even I know it is completely torqued to set up the photo shoots I have with my bugs.

Witness these, as examples…

 

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I won’t even get started on the debate we have about Photography as ART!!

Anyway, I know this is a long post, with a lot of photos, but the topic and the recent Daily Post announcement inspired me to do less censoring than I usually apply to my weekly photo challenge entry.

I’ll end on this note.

Initially, I was of like mind with many other contributors this week. I immediately thought of these things:

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But then I allowed the word to take me on this unexpected journey.

For that, I wish to express deep gratitude to The Daily Press for your regular inspiration for so many posts!! I will really miss you.

Sincerely,

ChosenPerspectives

 

PS I have received many Twisted gifts over the years from other twisted folks. Here are a couple involving antlers…yikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check in from ChosenPerspectives 3/24/18

a little busy these days.

at the tail end of a five year long project.

 

We went from THIS…

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to THIS…

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So almost done…right??

Oh wait…there’s THIS…

 

Well, we still have 4 days until our best friends show up for an extended visit!! They helped us build this, from the ground up!!

 

FOUR DAYS!!!!!

YIKES!!!!

 

Maybe I’ll keep them outside for a while. It looks almost finished from out there!

Casa compound

We’ll put them in the B and no B, the building on the right, until the inside of the Casa is all ready! (It’s not really leaning like it looks)

Whew! What an accomplishment!!! I am so proud of James!!!

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Sigh…………..

SongLyricSunday 1-28-18 Goodbye/Farewell

My grandson was only 10 years old but I asked him if he knew a music video I could watch that he thought I would like.

This is what he picked for me.

I love it! Gets me every single time, for it’s message, and because my sweet Luca knows me that well.

 

The lyrics version below

 

 

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SYW (Share Your World) for 1/22/18

The questions posed by Cee Neuner in this innovative challenge:

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

 

My Answers:

List 2 things you have to be happy about? 

  1. I am so happy that James is home. He’s been in this 2 weeks here and 2 weeks gone cycle. It is a little hard on us because we both do really well being alone so there is a big adjustment on both ends of his travel: when he leaves, remembering the comfort of solitude, and when he returns, adjusting again to the joys of sharing the everyday life again.

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2. I am relieved and blissed out (oh, it is too a word!!) that my 17 year old “Heart-Cat” is still alive since I was told back in October he might only have days to live. He definitely has kidney disease and has lost a ton of weight, but he is still here and as ornery as ever.

Well, maybe not. This is a cat who, for 17 years, has let no one pet him but me. And even that never included him being on my lap…but these days, he accepts pets from everyone and will sit on my lap for a whole hour if I let him.

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Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

I have been a “rock hound” since I was a small child. My Dad, in his quiet genius, got us a rock polisher. We would find rocks on the beaches and from the mountains and everywhere in between. Then we would wait…literally for months. Opening that polisher was a miracle every time. I learned so much from that experience, especially about delayed gratification and memory and anchoring experiences. I could write a book about all the lessons from this amazing, covert teacher. (Oh wait, I AM writing that book. My Dad is who taught me about choosing perspectives.)

Early in my therapy practice, I learned that some clients really needed concrete reminders of the things they were leaning, so, being my father’s daughter, I gave them Quartz, Lapis, Hematite or Amethyst hearts….and over the years, hundreds of polished rocks.

And, I have a basket of what’s left of a really old collection of pieces of polished petrified wood, from long before it was illegal. Not exactly rocks, but in my mind they qualify as “gems”.  (There is a great story there, too long for today’s post but this has reminded me to write about it.)

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Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

Oh I am definitely a hugger. You might even say I have hugged for a living for more than 40 years.

I’ll just let that sit there and see if you have any questions.

 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

David Letterman’s new Netflix show, called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. His first interview was with President Barack Obama. I laughed and I cried, and I longed for more of the intelligence, humor, depth and light these two men bring.

What a waste……..

 

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Sound of Silence for WPC 1/17/18

Silence

I love my son…more than anything else…in the way only the single mother of an only child can understand.

He and his sons live with me now. They are here to help me out.

I imagined his moving in with me would enhance our relationship…we are both old enough to be true friends now. He is 45. I am 69. I thought we would talk all the time, every day!

But his life as a single Dad is packed!

So it is loudly silent around here sometimes.

Music has always been a bond for us and one day, when I had almost become dissatisfied with his silence, he sat me down to share a music video with me. He told me the first time through I should be very patient, keep my eyes closed, and wait for it.

I did.

By the second run through, we were holding hands and crying, both so f-ing moved by this amazing performance.

You may well have heard it before. I have even posted about it before but if you haven’t, treat yourself to a listen, with an open mind and heart (and your volume cranked up!!!)

Ironic to be posting a song when the theme this week is silence, but how could I not share it?

Here is “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed.

Remember, don’t judge, just wait for it….It is everything BUT Silence!