Monday, 7 December 2015

The Book of Life

The December theme on The Documented Life Project 2015 is: story telling with the written word. Our art challenge this week is: Words Front and Center, and the journalling prompt: "Life is a book. We fill the page". Words are right up my street and I had a wonderful time putting as many of them as possible on the page. I used virtually all word stencils designed by Carolyn Dube for Stencilgirl although you only get little glimpses of them (mainly the Wall of Words one)  peeking through the many layers. I also added 4 different text stamps to the background. I wanted the background to look like a dilapidated and weathered poster board on which many posters had come and gone, leaving fragments behind. I literally scraped the paint across the pages.
I also collaged vintage text to the background from a variety of sources and then placed the main focal figure on the page. He comes from a painting by Watteau and is Pierrot although he was previously known as Gilles. He came from an old art book that is in pieces as I have removed so many images from it. As I was putting it away I noticed one of my old Ex Libris stickers (featuring my maiden name, now no longer visible, but it told me I have had that book for a very long time indeed) in the front and that seemed the perfect addition to make the spread more personal.
I started thinking of quotations I could use. The first one that came to mind is now written along Pierrot's side. I just love it. It reads: "Once you learn to read you will be forever free".  How very, very true. It's a quotation by Frederick Douglass, a African-American abolitionist and writer.
For the main focal point, however, I went for a quote by Charlie Brown: "In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back". As someone who is guilty of always turning to the last page of any book or magazine first this has real meaning for me! Some of the letters were stamped on and the main ones are stickers coming from Tim Holtz's Salvage Stickers Seasonal. I outlined them with a black marker.
For the final image I therefore turned to the above one, of two contented people who have almost reached that last page of life. It's an engraving from a vintage French book in my possession, dating back to the beginning of the 19th Century. I printed the image on vellum and if you are familiar with my work you will have seen it before. There is something about it that I deeply appreciate. The vellum proved temperamental to stick down so I used a washi tape with more lettering. And then couldn't resist adding it in other places on the spread too, and loo and behold, a fountain pen was part of that particular washi tape. It was meant to be.

And of course there had to be a postage stamp!


Jewels said...

Perfect Frieda!

Linda Kunsman said...

a super collaboration of layers and symbolism Frieda! Love the back page quote as I too tend to peek at the back sometimes before beginning a book:)

PurpleSuzi said...

Stunning ❤️
Such a rich page; vibrant and filled with beautiful storytelling.
Your work is such an inspiration, I don't know why I haven't told you so before... I apologise.
Best wishes,
Sue Carey xx


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