|As you can see, the paper comes from an Old Navy shipping bag. Not much goes to waste around here.|
When I glued down the paper, I left space at the top, so I could insert something…like this altered playing card. Nothing special, this playing card, just some verbal diarrhea as would come from a parent who wouldn't let his kids ever finish a sentence. Verbal diarrhea is common in narcissistic parents. The barrage of words on this card is more about emotion than art--a little overwhelming to look at, which was my intent. I sometimes use devices like this to spark feelings in viewers rather than as visuals in and of themselves. I added some texture to the page with pure white mesh, courtesy of the fabulous collage artist Zach Collins, whose work you can enjoy here: http://zachcollinsart.tumblr.com/. Then, while cogitating, I penciled around the text on the facing page, simply to draw attention to the words and to give myself some time to ease into my next steps.
|The texture of the mesh echoed the shapes of the water droplets. I couldn't resist.|
When I alter books, I flip around a lot, going from front to back rather than working through in logical order. Today I was drawn to the opening spread, an important place in any book. You never know when you're going to get brave. Today was, apparently, my day. I was up for foretelling, for scene-setting, for making a statement that would be clear to all those who view this project. Bam. Pow.
For the page facing the jittery girl, I went with a packing-tape transfer depicting a bunch of ghostly parts. That would make anyone jittery, right? The logic appealed to me because I spend a lot of time these days addressing my ghostly parts. I like how the images on the packing-tape transfer highlight the word "repair" on the old paper underneath. This book is definitely about repairing. Families led by a narcissistic parent usually have golden children and scapegoat children. The scapegoat child tends to become the repository for the family's ills and, in a particularly surreal-seeming twist of fate, the scapegoat child usually has a penchant for truth-telling. Like that's welcome! This adds a few more tablespoons of angst to the child's recipe, because who wants the truth?
Guess which child I was. Golden or scapegoat? Yup, there's quite a bit to repair here.
|Here's an overview of the spread. Packing-tape transfer on the left. Acetate overlay onto photo, which renders the image "jittery" with weird interplays of light and movement, at right.|
|A detail of the packing-tape transfer. This is a honking big transfer--about 5x7. If you're just starting out with this sort of transfer, probably better to build your chops working smaller at first.|
I liked what I did with the opening spread, and, so buoyed, flipped to the birdproofing spread that I had constructed last time. If you are so inclined, you can refresh your memory of that work here: http://lauratringaliholmes.blogspot.com/2013/05/dont-get-jittery-on-mepart-6-or.html. Resolving childhood issues gets dicey because there's a tendency to keep wanting to solve the old problems in real time. This can be very hard on current relationships as well as on one's relationship with oneself. I wanted to express that feeling of sorrow, which sometimes verges on hopelessness. When all was said and glued, I was quite pleased with the contrast between the faces of the women and the happy 1964 New York World's Fair Guidebook Disneyland advertisement (altered, of course), on the facing page.
|So many images, it was hard to choose.|
|This is where I wound up, showing everything glued down, reality vs. fantasy.|
Flipping the page, you get this. Note how the birdproofing mesh interacts with the image of the woman underneath. In an altered book, images often have to work in a number of ways, a challenge that I love to try to meet in unexpected ways. It's very different from flatwork, where a clever juxtaposition can exist in its own dimension, in its own right.
On the right-hand page, I collaged some arms to catch that falling doll and text that hints at the word "potentially." Blessed is the potential in children, all children.
|Catch me, please! The arms--and the text snip--come from a 1937 copy of Look magazine.|
Here, as you can see, I chose to add a male image to the spread. I thought it made sense with the verbal diarrhea altered playing card in the pocket.
And then I finished up my day with an editorial comment.
In my childhood life, there was always a test. I just had to shoehorn that in.