Newspapers, books, comics - they have all been part of my art projects over the years. Beginning in 2018, I started taking books and page by page creating something from them. For the next 2+ years, that has been one of my ongoing projects, with hundreds of paintings from books I have eventually used up, page by page. I call this exploration re-reading as now the writing on the page is part of a different story
Portraits of Nigerians
These portraits are on the pages of a 2019 agenda made in Nigeria. These are the only representational paintings I have done with that book. I still have a few pages left to work with!
The books of the Iliad
The Iliad is iconic in Western literature so I wanted to capture the story in some way, so my idea was to take the title pages to the book and then each of the pages for the separate books (chapters). From the start, I knew how I was going to build up colours, dots, then black and white lines. 18.5 feet by 6 inches. Acrylic on paper.
Pages from the Iliad
The Iliad is a long book, so I have many more pages to work with. Here is a selection.
Among the hundreds of painted books pages I have created, the circle motif comes back frequently. Given the grid and lines of a book page, circles contrast and stand out in ways that jar our understanding of the written word on a page.
An art book of the work of Peter Brueghel the Elder challenged me to work with text pages and plates of his works. Lots of reflection and many works.
This old book, pages going brown, attracted my eye because it spoke to an older, different time.
In 2018, I met someone from Nigeria who gave me two book agendas for 2019. I had no use for such agendas, as even I had fazed out such books in the past years. Somehow, I got the idea to paint on the pages of those agendas. It has been a stretch to find new ideas all the time to start and develop abstract paintings on those pages, but I have done it and been energized by the challenge of creating so many paintings.
Boys of the Bible
Another book from a different time and mentality, with some interesting illustrations to use as well. While painting and playing on these pages, in some way I believe I was reflecting on the distance we have travelled in the last decades.
Medical College Admission Test Guide 2011
MCAT prep books are popular - and enormous. I found a 2011 version and it is about 1,200 pages. So lots of work in store. It is glossy paper so harder to work with than the other non-coated book pages I have been using to date as the paper is more fragile and interacts with any wetness in funny ways.
Eagle Brand 1-2-3 Dessert
During my walks to stay active during COVID, I found this book as a giveaway on a house lawn. So I started painting on every inside page over the course of two years. Always fun, but slow as I had to wait for each addition to dry.