Mail Art Children's Books

I can’t enough of making these collaborative books. Actually, two of these are going to be collaborative books while the third still is in limbo. All three of these, as well as the one I sent out last week, are made from repurposed children’s books. The thickness of the cardboard pages are perfect and I particularly like the irregular shapes of the books. It’s easy to find some of these baby spit drenched books formed like dinosaurs or states or something equally random. I love making work from these even if looking through them at a thrift store is kind of unsettling. Either the people standing around me think I have a child or I’m just some creep buying children’s books. Once someone asked me if I had a kid and I didn’t help my case with my creepy, “I don’t think so.”
I’ve got these three going right now, and I still have two floating out there somewhere. Well, I know where they’re at but they haven’t come home just yet. I’m not complaining, just excited to see the great work my collaborators have done. I’d like to do more of these even if the return rate bothers me some…there’s a lot to filling up one of these so it logistically can take months and months. The two that are still floating around went out before the start of the summer, around late spring.
One of the additions, if you’re actually keeping score at home, is the use of paint in my work. Since I know nothing about making art, never had any training, never an art history class…nothing, everything I do I have to discover on my own. For some reason adding paint to my creations wasn’t in the cards, I simply didn’t do it even though paint is the most obvious art making tool.
So yeah, I’ve kind of gotten the bug even though I’m not interested in doing much more than adding texture and movement to the work. I like how the paint goes in its own direction, taking over or smashing into other things. I like the haphazard nature of filling up a page with color and then slamming the book down flat. I wait a while and then pull apart the stuck images. One side melds with the next of if the paint has dried enough, pulls off one side onto the next. It’s a great thing for random collisions and ridiculous accidents. I think this will stick for a little while. For a while I’ll put down the tape (not really) and pick up the cheapest brush I can find.