The Books of Love

I’ve been a bit quiet on the old blog front recently but I have managed to do some nice colouring…

I read an article about the work of Tom Phillips, an artist who uses pages from one particular book to create an ongoing story, called A Humument, which is a ‘meditation on unrequited love and the struggle to create and appreciate art’ (apparently).  He began it in the 1960s and is still producing updated editions of the same book.  Lots of other artists do similar works, which is often called Found Poetry, to create poems or an entirely new story.

The basic idea is to take an old book, circle all the words that take your fancy and do some nice pictures over the words you don’t like.  I remember doing something similar as a child, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  It goes without saying that I endured much artistic angst and suffering during the creative process and, obviously, there is an underlying deep meaning behind each piece of work.  Plus, it’s something nice to do with your hands in front of the telly if, like me, you’ve got five seasons of Breaking Bad to catch up on.

I call this piece Love & Meth in Miami in homage to Walter White
I call this piece Love & Meth in Miami in homage to Walter White
Coffee for an Angel is a political comment on the lack of refreshment opportunities for heavenly beings
Coffee for an Angel makes a political comment on the appalling lack of refreshment opportunities for heavenly beings
United Love examines the correlation between the decline in sales of traditional tea-bags such as PG tips and rising divorce rates in the UK
Cheer Up Missus is an ironic work on the futility of life and ironing
Cheer Up Missus is an ironic statement on the futility of life and ironing

38 thoughts on “The Books of Love”

  1. These are absolutely fantastic! Also love the commentary, but as stand-alone pieces… LOVE! 🙂 I’ve never seen this before – must find a book I really dislike… do you think I could make something vaguely worthwhile out of 50 Shades? 😉


    1. Ha, hopefully you could turn 50 Shades into something that didn’t read like it was written by a twelve year old girl…you could circle every time the main character bites her lip (43 times apparently) or blushes (127 times) 😉


    1. Thanks missus 🙂 Maybe I should ask the ‘O’ level examining board to reconsider giving me an E grade in Art?? (Yep, I was the person who told the class, ‘Don’t worry, no-one EVER fails Art…’)


  2. I’ve never seen anything like these, they’re so clever. I wonder if you could actually sell them; maybe a new career coming up?


  3. I love this idea. I wish I had my old book collection – everything is in boxes in a basement in Connecticut. It’s so fun and creative and colorful and uplifting, bc you just leave the positive. Ok, I have a project now 🙂
    PS – never read 50 Shades. Never will. Laughing superiorly at y’all 😛


  4. Sorry I’m so late to this post, but I’m so glad i didn’t miss it completely. These are marvelous and clever. I love the idea of taking an existing creative work and using it to create something new. If you do more, I hope you’ll share them.


  5. Fabulous. I hope you frame them and put them in a prominent position. Although I must admit that my inner pedant was shocked because her mummy told her that one should never, EVER deface books. Hmm. Big nuggs, BW. I saw a huge jar of sweeties yesterday with the label “Midget Gems”. I immediately forced Little My to take a photo of it for you on her mobile.


    1. Hope you bought the Midget Gems and refused to share them??? I’m afraid I have a long, shameful history of defacing books; from colouring in all the ‘o’s, to doodling flowers and, of course, that old favourite: dog-earing the pages. Guess you won’t be lending me any books then???


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