Book-tree in a gallery, y'all n.n
Hey! So I made this tree-sprouting-from-a-book last month to submit for a local art gallery and it was accepted (along with my first terrain-- which I updated with aged wood and new/better flowers-- and some of my diorama terrain jewelry +here+ and +here+) I'm pretty stoked to be representing terrains and dioramas in the traditional art world. People here, and all the other terrain hobbyists, are making some pretty baller stuff that goes pretty unnoticed and I think it'd be nice if people had an opportunity to remember how cool dioramas are (since most people probably haven't thought of them much since that one assigned project in elementary school...) 

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Here's an interior shot of the gallery! I'll try to get a photo of the current exhibit when it opens.

Anywho, here's my tree and some WIP pictures for those who like it like that. (DISCLAIMER FOR BOOK LOVERS::: This was a 2nd hand book, not rare, and was already damaged-- pages ripped out-- when I found it.)

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The tree itself was a new thing for me. Not so much making a tree, but making such a large tree with a full canopy. I think it's not -perfect-, but as first goes go, I always figure if what you make doesn't catch on fire, call it a success. I was surprised at how much material it used (cause, you know, I'm always doing tiny things and have had the SAME jars of stuff for the last 2 years without having to replace yet...) So now I know y'all's pain.

There was a bit of lift on the pages as all the layers shrunk up, but I don't think it ruins the other things of value it has going on. But all the same, I'll watch for that in the future to make sure I avoid shrink/lift if I make another some time.


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The base of the book is built up using paper towels and spackle (thought that'd have less shrink to it but oh well.) It took about 5 days to build up, making sure they dried really well in each layer. 

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Then I painted over, adding some flocking/basing stuff to give texture, then painted on top some more. I added in wires, paint splatters, and pigments because I wanted it to look like some kind of magic portal crap. Like the magicy edges of something that sprouted out of the book.

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The tree was pretty straight forward, but I did do the order kind of badly... you'll see as we continue.

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After doing all the patching and blending I wanted on the ground, I had built up a shape for the stylized roots and then (silly me) put in the tree and wrapped it all up, dried it, painted it, and then added the fluff for the basis of the canopy. Then I realised how silly that was to get ahead of myself like that. It was.... fun applying spray glue and leaf scatter to the tree without also adhering it EVERYWHERE ELSE. I got to use my new Noch leaf scatter though, which I was -SO- into.  

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After recovering from my mistake with some creative dropcloth/tenting business, I got started on the details. I had tried making that vinegar/steel wood aging stuff, but could never get it to turn into what it was supposed to so I just tried to do it manually. Although it's still semi-fresh looking, I think it's more aged than I was pulling off on previous projects so it's a good step anyway.

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The bulk of the work was in making the tree. I had already made the rock wall before, so I added it in and blended it into the scenery using a combination of preserved moss, paper-punched ferns, artificial grass, and artificial grass with flocked flowers.

I made some grass tufts using a kludged paper-plate method. You can see it, and closeups of other flowers on this post: ( )

And there we have it! I think that's the gist! Tonight might be kind of busy at the gallery with it being opening night and all, but I'll try going back later in the show and catch a photo : )
[+] 4 users Like BlueMeander's post
This is super-cool, and I'm glad you're getting some real art-world recognition for your stuff - you're very talented!
[+] 1 user Likes Munin's post
(06-15-2017, 03:53 PM)BlueMeander Wrote: I always figure if what you make doesn't catch on fire, call it a success.

Unless of course you're making fireworks (it's that time of year for me). But perhaps this is the exception that proves the rule.

I LOVE this concept, open-book-as-a-base! I've done some book stuff before, but nothing like this, and full disclosure; I intend to steal this idea sometime in the future. I feel like this type of piece could be used to illustrate ideas in specific books, in that "reading makes the pages come alive" type of way. Your key demo might be teachers and librarians. Absolutely KILLER idea.

As payment for my blatant theft of your idea, I will give you the variation I've done before; dioramas in fake hollow books.
You can buy fake books that are really just cigar-type boxes that are made to look like books on the outside from Hobby Lobby and probably other craft outlets. Build diorama inside book-box, then paint relevant title on cover and spine. Example: Build a beach scene in the book, then title the book "Beaches Of The World". Store on shelf with other books. Entice victims/art lovers to your lair, say "Have you ever read this book?" Pull book from shelf, hand it to sucker/patron, and watch the look of surprise and amusement wash over their face.

I did this with a WWI airplane theme for my brother, called the book "The Aerodrome". I never would have come up with the open pages idea on my own. Love it! O, the possibilities!
Know what? Knock yourself out. I was inspired to the idea after watching the end credits of The Jungle Book >.> I saw it and said, hey! I know how to do that... I'll do that!

We get inspiration from all kinds of places and if you like this idea, run with it. I'm sure you'll come up with something totally you.

The hollow wooden book idea is a good one. I know what kinds you're talking about. I have 2 faux books that have a glass cover and wood 'grid' sort of thing inside to make 9 cubbies. I was filling them with a mini decoration/cake scene that matches each of my kid's birthday parties through 18. And I've filled some wooden stuff before. I have boxes and all that (actually I do have a cigar box that I tried to fill with a natural diorama about 8 years ago before I really knew terrain stuff existed and it was totally what I -wanted- to make but had no idea.) Something I did do (but now want to re-do before I'm happy with it) is one of those wooden things from the craft store, but it's a small dresser for jewelry. The insides are each painted a different milky pastel color and the upper right one has a fantasy terrain in it. I'm hoping one day to graduate to putting them inside furniture. I don't have much wood/building experience but I thought I'd try with something simple like this and then put some trees/forest scene in the cube and light it up with LED fairy lights.

@Munin: Thanks! Well I think everyone here is very talented and I'm in good company : D
Beautiful work BlueMeander! Smile

It seems like just yesterday when I first saw your work. Your skills continue to progress wonderfully. Well done!
[+] 1 user Likes ableman33's post
(06-20-2017, 12:47 PM)ableman33 Wrote: Beautiful work BlueMeander!  Smile

It seems like just yesterday when I first saw your work. Your skills continue to progress wonderfully. Well done!

Very cool. I love little projects like this to break up the in between for big month long builds. well done.

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