Collage, Pocket Picture Book, and Altered Texts 1997-2013

In March of 1997, I packed up all of my possessions and moved to Washington State from Denton,TX. I was out of college, having recently graduated from the University of North Texas. I was without a permanent home and a studio to make art. While trying to figure out where to live and work I had a strong yearning to make art to help combat the stress I was facing with the uncertainty.

Lo and behold, while staying a few nights in my grandmother's basement in Pasco, WA, I discovered the art of altered books. In her basement was 2 complete sets of Encyclopedia Brittanica, outdated textbooks on Atomic and Solar Energy, and several volumes of National Geographic.

A friend of mine in college, Jason Rutherford had been making altered books for quite sometime and I decided that this art was ideal for portability. The text also was exciting, because as a novice writer with a degree in English Composition, I could form a story by using imagery and text that was already available but change the wording and phrasing and imagery by using cut and paste methods by hand. The juxtaposition of images could create a story of it's own and often create a great piece of art.

In all, from 1997 to 2004 I created 62? books with unique subjects, titles, and imagery. Since then and currently I have created dozens more. What started out as pure collage soon morphed into a plethora of art forms. I have explored drawing with colored pencils, graphite, pen, ink, marker, charcoal; I painted with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, egg tempera, and even oil. I used found objects, photos, ephemera, and memorabilia. I used linoleum, woodcuts, silkscreen and styrofoam to print. I also wrote poetry, philosophy, and humorous phrases. The books became pocket sized art galleries. I saved a few for my own collection, many were given to friends. Most of the books were over 20-60 pages apiece with a few having over 100. Here is a list of most if not all of them, including some I am still working on.

1. Atomic Comfort 1997

2. Texass: Steers and Queers 1997

3.Atomic Bomb

4. Mars Mission

5. The Elusive Mind of Man

6. The Wonderworld

7. How to Raise and Train a Dog

8. Bug: The Realm of the Insect

9. Astronuts

10. The F.B.I. (Fun Being Ill) note: over 200 pages

11. Health and How to Get It

12. Outer Surfaces in Interstellar Spaces

13. Wonderworld: Book 2

14. I Inhaled

15. Bar Talk: The Bathyscaphe and Beyond

16. Youth Trip

17. The Healing of Sick Minds by Iman Sane*

18. Wonderworld Jr.

19. Landforms

20. Wonderworld 2: Geothermal Unit

21. Let's Fly by Ace Pilot*

22. Birthday Kate (note: present for my wife)

23. The New Lust Blues

24. Rainbow Planet

25. Eureka: I Found It!

26. Tooth Movement Jr. : Baby Tooth Baby

27. Vantage y Gorge: to Columbia

28. Handyman's Guide To Romance

29. Handyman's Guide to Manhood (68 pages)

30. The New Funklopedia (30 pages)

31. Tooth Movement

32. Tooth Movement Tooth

33. Tooth Movement Threeth

34. Mixed Greens (30 pages)

35. Hampy Camping Handbook (32 pages)

36. Space Age: Return of the Astronuts

37. Rubbish #

38. "L" Practice (gift to Mom)#

39. On Time

40. The Handyman (46 pages)

41. Pocket Rocket Handbook (24 pages)#

42. American Heritage Jr. (24 pages)

43. The F.B.I. Project: Boredom (48 pages)

44. Rainbow Planet 2 (36 pages)

45. Big Galoot (38 pages)

46. "c" (30 pages) #

47. Lies: the Book of Truth (34 pages)

48. Quigly's Guide to Scribbling (32 pages)

49. Redneck's Guide to Violence

50. Down South

51. Invasion of the Minds

52. Humboldt Honey

53. Reflections (20 pages, made in 2003) see below

54. Reflections Accordian

55, Gone Fishing (gift to Dad)

56. Crash Pro Handbook by Ace Pilot*

57. Eddie y Rosela (48 pages)

58. The Park (28 pages)

59. Art Seen

60. Art Seen Too

61. New York Minute

62. Spot#

63. Drop#

64. Magic Carpet Ride

65. Combustible Journal (32 pages see below) 2006

66. Waterworks

67. Planet x

68. Mystic Sons of Morris Graves

69. Poppycock

70. Ballyhoo

71. Portland

72. Seattle +

73. Swimming Pools

74. Art Seen Three

75. Emily's Friends and Significant Others+

76. LOLA+

77. Joey+

78. Madelyn+

79. She's Crazy Quilting+

80. Cityscape

81. Art Desert


*written under a fictional name

#Mini book

+ Works in progress

I still have some of these books. Below are some examples of a few.

#AaronMurrayart #ACMurray #alteredbooks #artbook #Collage #painting #picturebooks #printmaking #recycledart #Seattleart

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© 2017 by Aaron Murray.