Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Altered Minds: the things one learns when making altered art

Are you learning anything about YOU while working on your books?

I have learned that I need to let go. I need to let go of "stuff" and "strictures:" stuff like old pages, beer caps, string, torn headlines and frayed fabrics and strictures that come from that beastly critic within, the one who says "THAT is NOT A-R-T."

"April through August" is done. It is a book that looks NOTHING like it did when I rescued it from the discard pile. Every page, every word, every image is re-covered by something I created, by a record of what kind of mood I was in, a record of art technique, a testament to what I have learned about altered art since we launched this awesome project. Looking back, I spent WAY too much time on "April through August." Yet, none of the time was wasted. I would not trade a moment of the time I invested in the book. For every time I make an altered art object, I learn something new about art and about me.

In the workshops, I have repeatedly said "There are no rules in altered art." With every page or spread I do, I have to remind myself of this. I have to tell myself that I am free to think of myself as a scientist in a laboratory, a child with art supplies, an individual with the freedom to explore. I practice what I preach, you see, because I know that I am capable of falling prey to the beastly critic who has a highbrow outlook on A-R-T.

The altered mind is one of the results I most want from this community art project. I will have succeeded if at least one participant and one reader expresses a new understanding about the definition of A-R-T.

Other books I have in progress retain some of their original features.

Workshop January 11th 6 p.m.

Whether you've been on board from the beginning or want to get involved now, you are welcome to join us at Pottsville Free Public Library, January 11th, beginning at 6 p.m. to work on our books.

Bring "stuff" to use and/or trade. Bring a friend!