Kelly's Artsy Journal


For my gift I knew I wanted to make a small altered book. I wanted to include favorite poems and images to start a piece that each artist could continue working in at her whim. I chose small books made from recycled paper. The pages are very soft and pliable with a hand-sewn binding. The only drawback to these is that they do not stay open flat on their own-that created some difficulty in painting the pages. I tend to like things rough and organic so in the end I had to just go with it and not worry. For the covers, I used a photo I had taken this summer with slide film and made a Polaroid with it in my Day-Lab. Using the Polaroid negative, I made a dry transfer onto a piece of wrinkled white craft paper. Once the transfer was dry, I scanned it into my computer and added the word Possess to the image. I printed out 12 copies onto a heavy weight glossy paper. For each, I tore the edges then burned them. I adhered them to the book covers with gel medium and added a circle of mica.

Inside each book I included two or three poems. I wanted to write them in by hand but I suffer from handwriting that is fairly difficult to read (even for me at times) so it was a laborious process to try to form the letters of the words for each girl to read. It really was an act of patience for me because I had to sit still for long periods and I'm not good at that but I wanted to write them by hand. (That was important to me.) I included poems by three of my favorite poets. They are: The Aliens by Charles Bukowski, Mirror by Sylvia Plath, and What I Remember by Anne Sexton .

In addition to the poems, each book received a brightly colored pastel drawing of Jesus. I did all 12 very quickly and in one sitting. In some he has indigo hair or deep yellow skin. in some he looks sad, some serene, some like my pizza delivery guy. I used very soft Portfolio crayons for these. After I finished them I worried that they would smear so I sprayed them with Krylon which was super stinky. I made sure to keep the books out and open in hopes that the chemical smell would dissipate. I do believe it did. (I hope so!)

Every book also received a page with a Frida Kahlo stamp and quote. and a page with a transparency made from a photo I took in Los Angeles, a copy of one of my paintings, and the words "can you see me?" These three pages are layered one after each other. There was one book in which I misplaced one of these images so I used a different one in place of the girl. Later I found it and added it in at a different place. After that, I tried to include at least two simple collages in each book. I think most got more than that. I would just grab them up and work in them without too much planning. whatever colors or images were in my head became a part of the books.

In cooking and in making art, I feel that the spirit with which I create the piece embodies it with that sort of power so I always tried to be happy and full of a cheerful heart when I was working in these books. I focused on the artists and the love that I wanted to send them. When it came time to mail them out, I randomly placed each book in an envelope and sent them away. I so hope they are enjoyed and that each artist makes them her own.
posted by Lelainia N. Lloyd at 9:10 a.m., |