altered book art journal detail (Hali Karla Arts)

altered book art journal spreads, Hali Karla

altered book art journal detail (Hali Karla Arts)

altered book art journal spreads, Hali Karla

altered book art journal detail (Hali Karla Arts)

When you create an altered book art journal, using a book that has words on the pages, there’s this funny thing that can happen. It’s sort of like playing with synchronicity unintentionally, or simply noticing what you notice over time… but how you notice in new ways.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

When I select an altered book, I will often prep the pages with extra paint or scraps of paper or gesso long before I come back to them for a creative practice session.

Loving poetry, words, metaphors and stories like I do, I will leave a phrase or word visible on the page – something that jumps out at me when I’m sloppily applying a background color or gesso over the page.

I don’t overthink it; I just trust what catches my eye or peeks my curiosity.

Then – sometimes months later – I come back to the page to do a sketch, collage, painting or written reflection. I usually choose the page pretty randomly.

Or, like in the altered book above, I just go to the next page and stretch myself to be with whatever is there, waiting for me to return to it.

It’s a bit surreal – how often the words I left visible on the page have somehow sprouted in my awareness, somewhere else in my life, and quite organically. Not just as words, but as living experiences or contemplations. Like breadcrumbs on the path.

It’s as if some part of my past self, even when not paying too much attention, was able to notice something that my future self would have deeper connection with, and find meaning in. Or would need to be reminded.

It’s not just words either. It can be the feeling or sense evoked by a color combination, pattern or line, as well.

I bet that has happened to some of you, too.

There are a whole lot of psychological ways we could analyze that, but why suck the beauty out of a resonance that is so obviously a part of our creative essence and journey through time?

It’s there. It’s real. It’s meaningful.

Even if only to me.

Even if only to you.


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