I am a jewelry designer, attempting to branch out, for fun, into mixed media. I was immediately attracted to this book because of the appealing cover, and, additionally, because I am familiar with the authors. Angela Cartwright and Sara Fishburn are already well known in the art world. They imbue beauty and energy into their projects.
I particularly liked the fact that I received a template in this book so that I might design my own house, just like the ones the reader can wander all over, here and there and everywhere, in the world created within this book.
"A Collection of Altered Art Imagery and Collage Techniques" is the subtitle for In This House. However it is much more. If you liked fairy tales as a child for example, you will fall in love with the manner in which the authors have laid out this book.
To begin with, in order to unite the artists who participated by creating individual houses, each house with its separate style and name, there is a map, entitled "Shortcut through the Neighborhood", so you can see where you will be off to.
I sometimes wonder: what is a house?
To me, a house is representative of a person's soul, identity, dreams and hopes. To gather together in a community such as the one these authors present, the work of a number of artists, all designing the art/dream houses they choose for themselves, is an illumination. It is more than just what altered art can be. It is a mirror held up concerning what humanity is, for us to see. It is what we are and can be.
The houses, which are named by each artist, ("A Family House", "The Wonderland House", etc.) unfold from the same template so the reader can see how they are set up and how the designs are arranged upon each one. There are artist's tips and explanations. There are lists of raw materials, such as fluid acrylics, jumbo rick rack, and rusted found objects.
There are many quotes in this book, some of which moved me intensely. Here is one: "home is heaven for beginners" --Channing Pollock.
The illustrations, which are by Alice Scott-Morris, bring everything together in a delightful way. It isn't cutesy, nor is it pretentious. It's a really nice job. A gift from a bunch of super artists.
You have to look long and hard at In This House, even study it, in a sense, for it to impart you all the potential there is has within it. That potential might help draw out the beauty you have within you. It is worth owning In This House, as it is a terrific book with a truly unique and lovely concept behind it.