Sunday, May 13, 2012

More mess

I've continued to work in this book, for the Messy Book Group
Assignment: soak the page and water and try to write on it or drop ink on it
 Assignment: do 10 different things to the page in 1 minute.
I crumpled it, ripped it, spilled wine on it, made black handprints, scribbled with blue marker, squirted orange paint, sprayed it with water, stamped blue circles, dribbled magenta ink and then folded the page.
 Assignment:  for an entire day do all your necessary tasks with your "wrong" hand.  I recorded my response to this (using my "wrong" hand) after about 10 minutes.
 Next up: the instructions were to spill something onto my hand or face and use the page to wipe off the excess.  I think I didn't read this very carefully, and what I ended up doing was smearing glue all over the page and then patting the cat (after washing my hand) and wiping all the excess fur on the page. 
nice, huh?
Assignment: cover the page with something sticky. (I used maple syrup) then sprinkle a powder on top (I used cinnamon).  Max could smell the book from 10 feet away and when I explained why he was smelling cinnamon in the art room he shook his head and said "sometimes I don't even want to know"

Assigment:  Rub some kind of pigment on  your elbows and lean here.  I started with pan pastels, and moved on to gesso and ended up with acrylic paint. It was a very colorful shower later that day.

Finally, this one below may not LOOK as messy as the others, but it turned into a doozy.
The assignment was to alter the image by damaging it and then find an interesting way to repair it.  I started by ripping the left page and stapling it and taping it.  not super creative.
I got hung up on the idea of altering the image and decided to drip some citrasolv (a well know image-alterer) on the left page.  I left it there for several minutes and it didn't do anything but make the studio reek of fake oranges.
or so I thought.
when I went to wipe up the excess, the pages fell out of the book.  and then the next pages.  and the next.  apparently the citrasolv had "altered" the glue of the binding.  I got out some washi tape and started putting the pages back in place, but everytime I turned the page a new one would fall out.  It was like one of those dreams where you keep losing your teeth.
16 strips of washi tape later, my book now looks like this:

 As the cover says, it's the book of accidents and mistakes.
so far I've been pretty good at rolling with it.
But now, our fearless leader is encouraging us to invite others into the mess and (as I've already mentioned) that's where I start to say "ARE YOU CRAZY????"
I'll gladly bury the book in my garden,
or encourage a local snake to slither about on it,
but speak to a stranger????
 way too messy for me.


  1. Okay, that looks like an altered book I could get into!

  2. I bought one of her books for my daughter (age 14) She hasn't touched it. I'm not sure I'm brave enough. But when it came to the citrasolv I just busted a gut laughing. Altered. I don't think I'm a control freak until I can't control something. Then I freak. Maple syrup? Cinnamon? Oh, my sides hurt. Good luck you brave soul.

  3. Way to go! I love the way it's looking after putting it back together with the washi tape!

    As for asking the strangers to joing in -- possibly some of the postal employees? They're probably only semi-strangers. And does she actually state that it has to be a "stanger"? Could it be a friend or hubby? Or cat? When I was working in a different book of hers, I asked my friend who was visiting from out of state. If all else fails, mail that puppy to me -- I'll do something to it and mail it back to you! :)

    Sharon in Texas

  4. Hi Karen, this is my first visit to your blog, but I have seen your comments on SO many of the blogs I read; we travel the same paths! This post made me laugh out loud...and the photo of your book right now...priceless!! Can you even keep the thing when you are finished, or is it going to attract ants?? What a great experience! I love hearing about all of your experiments and accidents.

  5. :o) What a riot! You've asked me how my mess book is coming - it's not. I seem to have bitten off more than I can chew recently and that's one project that's sitting on the back burner. However, after reading your efforts again - I'll pull the book off the shelf and put it in front of me. Maybe this weekend I'll get dirty! Thanks for being continually inspiring.

  6. Wow...I think I would've given up ages ago...haha! What an adventure, though!

  7. Ha - this made me laugh out loud! The crazy dream book... Love it.

    Fearless leader has not yet got around to asking strangers. I keep forgetting to take the darn book out with me.

    Also, totally agree with you about the left hand thing. I didn't even get as far as trying. I think I might just glue those two pages together!

  8. Hey Karen!

    I keep seein' a few of you mail artists using some sort of white paint (?) to cover up other things and write, etc. on top of it (e.g., MESS on your front cover). What is it? Is it as simple as white paint ? :D I haven't added paint to my mail art repertoire yet, but like how that is used in particular. Thanks!!