Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Altered Hymnal

The hymnal I am altering was printed in 1939. Although the pages are difficult to work with because they are so thin, I couldn’t resist the beauty of this worn book.

Can you tell which pages have mud glued to them?

To give the pages more strength, I glue several together.

And to keep the book from getting too thick, I also have to cut pages out. Many altered book artists cut out random pages before beginning a project. I haven’t done that with this particular book because sometime I am drawn to a page because of a hymn or text. The pages I chose to alter for the Water challenge are Baptism liturgy.

After a page is altered, the fact that pages were removed is hardly noticeable.

Before beginning any altering, I protect the rest of the book by placing wax paper directly behind my current pages.

For this particular project, I planned on making a transparency from this photo which was my inspiration. To make a transparency, first tape the picture to a piece of glass. Then paint on several thin coats of acrylic gel, allowing it to dry in between coats. Each coat should be painted on in a different direction.

Here is the picture after several coats.

Next, flip the picture over, dip the forefinger in water, and begin to gently rub the paper off the dried acrylic gel.

I made several mistakes here. Number one, my picture was too large for this technique. Number two, I got the paper too wet. The ridge in the picture is the acrylic gel beginning to fold together. This is bad, but there is a good visual of the pulp rolling off the acrylic. The acrylic ended up ripping and was not usable. Lesson learned.

The music on this page and the house on this page are both examples of successful transparencies made by this technique.

While I was waiting for the gel layers to dry, I began working on the page. The idea was to have my family, words, and color in the background with the finished transparency laid over the top of the page. I used watercolor pencils and glued on cut out photos printed on regular paper.

I laid a cut out of the tree over the bodies for placement,

then added Psalm 1:1-3.

Soon thereafter, I learned that the transparency idea was not going to work, so I improvised and began coloring the page. The end result was not what I envisioned, but God has taught me not to be discouraged when things don’t turn out the way I plan. When the transparency tore, I just prayed that God be glorified in the end product, no matter my opinion. A lesson I have learned from this altered book is that the Holy Spirit will speak through my art, and He often has different plans than me. Go with the flow and go low (remain humble) is my motto.

amanda ∞

8 Comments on “Altered Hymnal”

  1. The eagle has FINALLY taken off. I repeat: the eagle is in flight! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    You make me laugh! I’m looking forward to the eagle landing. 🙂
    amanda (smirk)

  2. Hiya In answer to your question I stamp the switls! Cant live without them! Rhonna Farrer does a lovely selection, which is what I have used on one of the cards. Thanks for looking

    I love switls and didn’t even know they had a name! Rhonna Farrer’s website is great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Altered books are so amazing! Right now sewing takes my creative energy, but someday I would love to try it!

    I think we all have a favorite creative outlet. I love to sew too, but haven’t taken the time lately. There are so many art forms I would love to try…

  4. This is such an interesting documentary to your art. Very inspiring!

    You probably have shared your altered book art beginning, but being not aware of it, I am really, really curious how it all started!

    Hmmm. I’ll just have to blog about that.

  5. I get it. I AM AN ALTERED HYMNAL! Filled with words, cut apart, glued together, layered with pictures, places and faces. Even the mud ultimately becomes something beautiful. Ha! There really is an artist somewhere messing with my life and making it so much more than the black and white book I wanted it to be. Thank you.

    Oh how true. Somehow you just made my art even more meaningful to me than it was before. More than worship, it has become a picture of God’s hand in our lives, molding and shaping us.
    And you definitely are an Altered HYMNAL; you got the music in you, baby! (say this outloud with some funky jive in your voice)

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