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journal page

The following page spreads are from an altered book journal. Journals in altered books take many forms. Some artists ignore the original text and simply use the book's pages as a base to build new pages on. For me altered book journals always seem to take on a theme and that theme is somehow, perhaps tangentially, related to the book.

In these pages from a recent altered book journal the theme of "mysteries" emerged. At first I was simply creating backgrounds on some pages, hunting for words on others. Then one afternoon I came home from teaching color theory and decided to paint a pear in my altered journal. It was something we had been discussing in class. Previous collage material on the spread mentioned mystery and I realized that despite my best efforts color theory would remain a mystery to some of my students. Using masking tape I tore a mask for the word "color" and sponged on metallic stamping ink. Suddenly everything in life suggested a mystery: the serendipity of having a theme. The remaining pages flew together quickly, drawing from things I was reading and doing in life. It is not a coincidence that the book being altered is a mystery novel. (I used gouache, including gold gouache, to paint over maroon Nexus pen.)

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Illustration © 2003 Roz Stendahl; All Rights Reserved