Mixed Media Drawing on 1890's Dictionary
This is such a special page from a very special dictionary. I absolutely love the definition on the page - "A two-wheeled velocipede, propelled by treadles." I think that beautiful, rare definition and the age of the page makes this drawing unique.
My family found this dictionary and gave it to me. I never intended to use it for drawings but when I inspected it I discovered that the book was pretty damaged and had some marks on pages so I carefully tested a page and found it would permit me to mark on it.
From time to time I have someone confront me angry that I destroy books. That really burns my biscuits. I am very much a book lover and we have a HUGE library of treasured books in our home. I located another 1890's dictionary on ebay recently but the seller refused to sell to me because he disapproved of my working on book pages. I had hoped that the new dictionary would be in better shape and replace this damaged one.....oh well.
I feel strongly that I repurpose and rescue these old books. The books I use have been discarded and are often quite damaged. Dictionaries are becoming more and more rare. Our school no longer keeps dictionaries in our classrooms thanks to online resources and the same is true across our country. I feel strongly that my work is about valuing and celebrating these beautiful pages and their text. I know that won't satisfy everyone. I have grown as an artist and have learned a lot by building this series of dictionary drawings. They mean a great deal to me and it's personal.