Altered Board Book Diptych
Hey all. This week Kelly Boler from Book and Paper Arts, one of our super Mixed Media Design Team Members, created a captivating Altered Board Book Diptych for us. As you know, we feature one new Mixed Media project each week created by one of our fascinating team of artists. We want you to be totally inspired by this series! Therefore, please make sure you check out the video tour at the bottom of the page…please scroll all the way down to see it. Are you ready to be inspired? I will step out of the way and let Kelly tell you all about her charming techniques…
Mixed Media Artwork
This month’s mixed media project is an Altered Board Book Diptych. A diptych is an object that has two parts that hinge in the middle. It has been used for centuries in altarpieces and other art pieces dating back to the 6th century. In my own practice I like to use children’s board books with more traditional religious images and turn them into mini-shrines, but today I chose images from The Graphics Fairy that are more whimsical and romantic. I have given them wings but all in all they are more fairy than angel.
Board books can be altered in many ways and are great because you can buy them at thrift stores or flea markets for very little. You can then clean them up, carve them, create niches and pockets – or in this case arches – recycled into so many different assemblages.
Here I stripped the pages of their original glossy paper, then primed them with gesso. Rounded arches were cut out of the board pages, glued together, then painted. At that point I created my angel fairies.
Ephemera Used in the Altered Board Book Diptych
There are so many vintage figures on TGF that would suit this project and I strongly considered several from one of these Vintage Photos bundles: Antique Portraits and Antique Portraits 2. But then I decided to go with a wide-eyed lady from the Ocean Blues Ephemera Bundle and a belle with a ruff from the European Renaissance Bundle. Above is a view of them laid out before gluing.
The image above gives you an idea of how to assemble visually striking layouts. This was one of my many options.
Next I needed contrasting backgrounds that would make the focal points pop and add interest on their own. If you have been following me you know that for this I always turn to the many script, parchment, or ephemera bundles with their selection of letterpress pages, foxed and watermarked frontispieces, and handwriting that really sets off and frames the featured figure.
Here I used hand copied sheet music from the Antique Ephemera Bundle on one side and a delicate calligraphy sample on blue paper from the Script Ephemera 2 Bundle. Now all that was needed were some wings, and for these I went to Interesting Insects and Delicate Butterflies Bundles. Other fabulous wing options are available in the Gorgeous Butterflies, Wings and Things, and Butterflies and, Moths Bundles.
While there are many PhotoShop tools on TGF for adapting images digitally, I still assemble mine by cutting out the images and assembling the pieces, trying them together here and there like old school paper dolls. The carved arches then frame the finished focal image and create depth. Lace ribbon was added so that the book can be closed and tied with an oversize bow.
Altered Board Book Diptych Show & Tell
To see a short video of my Altered Board Book Diptych on The Graphics Fairy’s YouTube channel:
Be sure and check TGF Premium Member Site for a longer, step-by-step video of how to make an altered board book diptych of your own.