Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What is Altered ART?

I love altered art, but it occurs to me that many people may have never heard of it before. So what is altered art? To Alter – to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify Altered art means a wide variety of things to different people. For me, altered art began with a set of playing cards, some old magazines to cut up, and some acrylic paints. While two-dimensional media like playing cards, place mats, and the like are a great way to move from collage into altered art, where it gets really interesting is when you start altering 3-dimensional objects. Probably one of the most popular altered media is various types and sizes of boxes. From the small altoid tins to cigar box purses, moving altered art into the realm of assemblage becomes a form of collage sculpture. Altered art journals and books are a wonderful way to express your own creative style. Small composition books make the perfect cover to alter for your first art journal. These small and inexpensive books are the perfect size to have at hand whenever you feel the need to write something down. The cover is sturdy enough to stand up to some serious painting and altering and can handle just about anything you would like to attach to it. Many people begin sharing their art for the first time through altered playing cards, altered books, or artist trading cards. I’ve participated in a few of these round robins – we picked a theme for say ATCs and then sent in a certain number to the coordinator who sent us back one less. The coordinator has the benefit of grabbing one of everyone’s cards as she spends all the time and energy to coordinate the round robin and mail everything back out. Round robins can be a great way to stimulate your creativity with altered art as everything you get back will have been made by someone else. I find that looking at other’s art work will often spur me into figuring out how someone did something I find unique, or their style may drive me to try out new styles for myself! Altered tins and boxes make for wonderful little shrines or reliquaries for all the little sacred moments in life we don’t celebrate enough! I like to keep a little table in my room set aside for these altered treasures.

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