Staging Altered Book Text

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From Bean’s article Chapter 6, Informal, Exploratory Writing activities, I have been inspired to develop a journal element in my Painted Book course. I have taught this course for 6 years and have never depended on in class, or outside of class writing exercises to generate content for the pages of the books. Exploratory writing exercises can be very beneficial to “discover, develop, and clarify” ideas. Particular exercises that Bean describes that could work for my project might be the guided journal, what I observed/what I thought, writing dialogues, and occasional thought exercises. Paring with these exercises students would to do free expressive sketching. These sketches would start image making that coincides with the writing.

Imperative though to the process of creating is freedom and the entire page layout must not be figured out ahead of time. So many students want to have all of the answers before beginning a creative work. This tendency inhibits spontaneous development of a work of art. Much of the work happens in response to the work that is happening on the page. The writing and the preliminary sketching is a groundwork for engaged creativity.