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Made from painted elements of "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, this work celebrates Walden Pond, where Thoreau lived in solitude before writing his classic book.
Notes on inspiration and process from the artist: When I am creating an altered book, I like to start with a strong concept and a book that really inspires me, since I want the visuals to be connected to the book's content. I also like to use many different elements from the book, without using outside materials, except for paint and adhesive. Once I decided to work with "Walden" and I found a copy that had the right "character" (feel of the paper, texture of the binding, etc.), I researched images of Thoreau's cabin and Walden Pond. I chose the very wide format to reflect the panoramic setting. I hand painted individual pages of the book with washes of color which I then tore into small pieces to create my background landscape. I used the beautifully textured cover fabric for my trees and painted threads from the binding for grasses. Once the elements were in place, I added additional paint shadows to the tree trunks to add dimension. I used the book title "Walden" in the bottom left corner, as a subtle reference to the source.
When I conceived and created this piece just before the pandemic hit the United States, I had no idea how relevant it would be today. Thoreau spent two years, two months, and two days in solitude in the woods - a true pioneer of social distancing! My piece is titled "Life in the Woods" after the book, which was first published as "Walden; or, Life in the Woods."
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