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I sit before you exhausted, but happy. I don't know if I've ever worked so hard on an art project. The possibilities know no bounds when it comes to Collection Folio. I had a plan in my head for this challenge. But everything, EVERY thing changed when I heard about a new book from the beloved Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird has long been a literary treasure for me and for many people. When I heard the news of a new publication (its not really a "new" book, but rather a manuscript that predated the writing of Mockingbird), I knew instantly my love for To Kill a Mockingbird had to be the focus of this challenge for me. My passion took over!
This blog will have more pictures and text than most of my posts, so please forgive my self indulgence and join me in celebrating this great book!
My passion for this theme made this project both easier and harder. Easier because there are so many iconic images, ideas and symbols associated with this book that I had an abundance of material to work with. Harder because this book and this author are so important to me that everything had to be just right. I worked and reworked tags, elements, messaging, over and over. Truthfully, I wish I had another week (MONTH) to work on this, and I may continue to work on it after the challenge is posted. But it is truly satisfying to work very hard at your art and this one brought me great joy.
The cover includes many essential symbols from the book, and even includes a "miniature" of the book itself, which I describe below. This project is absolutely full of symbols. If you've read this book, and most of us who attended school in the U.S. have, you'll recognize many of these symbols. I encourage you to click on photos in this blog and see some closer pics and so see some of the subtler messages from TKAM, interpreted through mixed media.
I used a paperback copy of the book and tore pages and quotes to use strategically. I made a small "book" by gluing bits of the pages to Wendy Vecchi's Clearly for Art Blackout. I stamped an open book stamp from B Line Designs, cut out three of these images, and then heated them.
I thought I had a better picture, but you can see above in the top right a little form I created. I used two paint brushes and taped down a scrap of card stock over them to form an open book shape. After heating Clearly for Art, I laid the soft modeling film on my form and held it till it cooled. I did this with all three layers, glued them together with Glue n Seal and then clipped them till they dried.
My project is essentially a story board of the story. I used sticky notes to prepare my layout and the images I would need to find. Even though I freely borrowed pictures from the movie, my project is really focused on the book and my appreciation for this wonderful work of literature.
This whole project proved really difficult to photograph. I've tried to give you a shot of the open flaps and layers and then a close up of each page as its revealed. Thanks to my sweet huz, Rick, for a couple of extra hands holding things open while I photograph.
Below is a close up of a woodgrain tag with some of the trinkets Boo Radley left for Scout and Jem in the tree in front of the Radley house.
Jem, Dill and Scout. When the book begins, Scout is 6 years old.
One of many inspiring passages.
The next page introduces the relationship between Scout and her father, Atticus, and to Harper Lee herself. The book was published in 1960 and is set in fictional Macomb, Alabama. This shot was taken near that date. Harper Lee's first name is Nelle, which is what her family and close friends still call her. And she still lives in Monroe, Alabama, where she grew and which inspired the setting for her book.
I wanted to include mockingbird symbols, birds, feathers, etc., on characters that I think represent that in the book. Tom Robinson is one. Oh, by the way. All birds in this Collection Folio are mockingbirds. Even the ones that don't look like it. Artistic license. ;-)
Incredibly, the opposite side of the flash cards for "brave father" say "little glory". This image of Atticus leaving the court room defeated but honored, incorporated that sentiment well.
This is one of the most moving passages in the whole book for me.
My book closes with a modern day picture of Nelle.
And my blog closes the way I think might please our author, with her words. These are the closing sentences of To Kill a Mockingbird. I'll let them speak.