Altering a book, Step by Step II

What I want to create is not just an altered book, but a unified compilation of images that follow form, design principles and resonate an emotion. For form, I seek out some older examples of one of my favourite collage artists.

Kurt Schwitters

Schwitters had a knack for the found object, and a sense of symmetry rarely seen so consistently among other collage artists. His work exhibits a simplicity with a force that draws one into the canvas.

Another artist I have come to admire, Fred Otnes, offers a different perspective, one that exhibits a more recognisable figurative approach but retains the integration of design with materials.

Fred Otnes

Using Jonathan Talbot's collage techniques, incorporated with my own, I will prepare some of the collage elements by pre-coating them with gel medium, allowing them to dry and then use heat to attach them to the substrate, in this case, the pages of a book. Other elements will be incorporated with medium, gesso and an assortment of adhesives.

It's my intention to explore and use materials I have neglected but can easily be adapted to altering and are frequently used in collage: gouache, ink, watercolour and various acrylics.

I have pounds of paper, including imported textured papers from Thailand, Japan, Mexico and Germany. I have hoarded these too long and if not used they will only get mildewed or deteriorate.

Two excellent books on collage I explore are Gerald Brommer's "Collage Techniques: A Guide for Artists and Illustrators " and Anne Brigadier's "Collage: A Complete Guide for Artists " , both are timeless and worth their weight in geld.

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