A Tossed Salad of a Book

Here is an artist book. It’s called “Today and Tomorrow and Today Again”.

In its original form it was a children’s book I pulled from the discarded pile at our library, just as I have done for many others I’ve worked on. I went through my usual routine of preparing it – I pasted every 3-4 pages together to make a thicker surface and reduce bulk. I then began my process of working on each page spread pretty much at random, painting and collaging each one without worrying about how it related to the others.

Typically my next step would have been to look through the book after all the pages were done and to create a story as the art seemed to flow along. It’s always worked so well before! But this time I couldn’t seem to catch a thread. The art was good, I thought, but the pages were in the wrong order for anything I thought of doing.

Then I got the idea that made this book work. I cut out all the pages. This meant saying good-bye to the cover, but since I do that enhancement last, when the book gets its title, I hadn’t lost any work, though now all I had was a pile of pages. I also really wanted to save the artwork I had done on the inside covers, so there were a few anxious moments as I carefully peeled the endpapers away. Pushing the problem of how to return things to book form until later, I then rearranged the pages and also cut some of them to different sizes where I thought they might look better.

Then I was able to create a story to go along with the art, and so I felt much better about things. And the solution to putting things together was an easy one – I got some binder rings and punched holes in the pages, lined everything up, and snapped them shut to make the book complete.

So this book is different from my other artist books, and I really like how it turned out! I especially like how it’s possible at times to see more than one page piled up on another, since all the pages are not the same size. Makes for interesting juxtapositions.

And I’m also very happy that I didn’t let the form of the book force me into making up a story that didn’t flow as I would have liked, but that I found another solution.

8 thoughts on “A Tossed Salad of a Book

  1. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I am very happy with how this book turned out, esepcially since it seemed like something unsalvageable at first. Thanks for telling me!

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, I was kind of upset when I realized that I had worked myself into a dead end in the first version of the book. Cutting it up was a wrench! But it did work out better, I knew it would as soon as I put the scissors to the pages. Those little rings saved the day but I guess I could have used rope or wire as well. Thanks for your comment!

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