This is part of the first inside page spread for the Book of Dreams. Since the text block of the original vintage book has largely come loose from the cover, I thought that if I used single page 'signatures' (I know they're not really signatures, but I'm trying give you a clear visual here- and probably not succeeding.), made from sturdy, durable material, it would help to bind the pages to the cover more securely. Not really being very experienced with book-binding techniques, I'm not sure if this will work, but it seems logical to me.
What I decided to do, then, was to recycle parts of an old monotype that wasn't successful. It's a method that usually works out well for me, because it gives me layers of color and images on which to build. Being a big layer-er, it functions as kind of a head start, and the additional layers tend to yield a richer piece with increased depth. Of course, I first needed to come up with a scrap piece that fit in with my vision; I had an idea of the one I wanted to use, and luckily it worked out.
First I played around with fitting the appropriate section of the scrap piece to the page; when satisfied with the composition, I cut out the parts I wanted. In this particular case, the figure was already there, but had to be significantly modified. I won't describe all this in detail, but one major thing I changed was her dress, which looked really floopy. (Yes, this is a word, at least in my head...) I took a piece of gampi (also called silk tissue) and tried to make it fold where the folds in the dress should be, gluing it down with gobs of acrylic medium as I went. Though it didn't turn out the way I had hoped, I decided it was acceptable; to me, it looked a bit like encaustic, or maybe like her dress was made of ice, or water. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow, people.
The wing was added, part map and part feathers (the feathered part came from Wing of a Roller by Durer), and then the stitching to connect them. I made several other changes and additions- everything from adding more grass, as well as the egg and the bird, to changing the shadows, and removing things from the sky and other areas. The thing I love about Rives BFK is that it can take the abuse of some pretty aggressive washing and erasing. I did still tear up a few spots; this is where creative improvisation comes in (otherwise known as gluing something over it if all else fails).
This post is getting longer than I intended, so I think I'll continue later with the alterations and collage work I did in the pages of the book itself before gluing the monotype in place, and, of course, with the completion of this spread. Be sure to check back for that update, and as usual, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about materials, methods, or techniques. Also, I would love to read your ideas and advice, if you're so inclined.