Altered Book :: The Art of Happiness

I just finished this altered book page for The Art of Happiness. I wanted to counteract the darkness of the text with something rich and colorful, and since I hadn’t used a purple color scheme in a while, that’s what I settled on.

First I covered the pages with a light coat of fluid matte medium. This helps to protect the paper when I apply the Masquepen. I have found that sometimes the Masquepen will lift the paper (and the text) right off the page if I don’t put down a layer of medium first. (You can read more about my Tips for Using Masquepen on my web site.)

After I had decided on the found poem, I used the Masquepen to cover the words, so they would be protected from the paint. I waited for that to dry. Then I used a light gold paint to cover the entire page. Afterwards, I painted different shades of copper and gold randomly across the page.

When that was dry, I used the masquepen again to make the stems and leaves of the flowers. I then painted the flower heads in shades of purple and covered those with masquepen as well.

Once the masquepen was dry, I applied a coat of pearlescent violet acrylic ink and some darker purple around the edges. Finally I was able to remove all the masquepen from the pages, and this is the result. The little flecks that you see in the image is the mica in the paint. I wish the contrast between the gold leaves and stems had been more dramatic, but this was a technique that I’d been wanting to try for a while, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

5 thoughts on “Altered Book :: The Art of Happiness

  1. I LOVE your creation. The Art of Happiness. It’s just so….



    Visually and Spiritually STUNNING.


    I’m off to begin an altered book of my own.

    Thank you for sharing this work.

    fuzzy bunnies!

  2. Karen,

    The new pages are wonderfully you–the hand coming through the page with the heart on it–the black and white page–the page with the hand and eye–the page with the geometric squares and circles–and, of course, the found poem page–I love that! It’s interesting that you write about the art of happiness today since I just put a little note on my blog about happy things. If you want to look . . . Enjoy your marvelous art!! I do!


  3. I just got done reading the poetry that you have in “the art of happiness”. It’s so beautiful. The images are stunning. I really like it alot.

  4. I just discovered your website today and read through your blog. I’ve had an interest in altered books for several months now, and I absolutely love what you do. Keep it up and keep blogging, i’ll be here to read.

  5. You’re really developing an awesome work in this “Happiness” project. I’ve just caught up on the most recent entries, and I like how each spread has its own personality yet the altered text/found poetry leaves no confusion that the project is weaving itself together as a whole through all of its parts.
    I’m happy you shared the step-by-step on this one. I really like the effect you achieved here with the layers of gold, copper and purple. Seeing your success, I’m going to have to look into finding a masquepen and giving it a try. Thanks for the continuing inspiration.

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