Art – Book Sculptures by Mike Stilkey

by Sherry Riter in Art  

When I was very young, my mother used to read to me every night before I went to sleep. My reading and word obsession progressed to school book fairs and weekly visits to the library. I also loved reading the column in the Reader’s Digest called It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power. I remember telling myself that some day I would get all the words right.

Eventually, I grew up and became an aunt and a mother. I wanted to pass on my passion for the written word, so Brittany, Alyssa and I were weekly visitors to the library and book store. For fun, I would play “school” and “bank” with them. Of course, we had lots of spelling bees. Reading to and with them definitely helped them scholastically.

So it was with great pleasure that I discovered an artist that uses books in his artistic creations. It is also wonderful that he can use books that are no longer in good enough condition to be read. Libraries have given him many of his books rather than destroying them.

While visiting his website, I found that Mike Stilkey, a Los Angeles native, “has always been attracted to painting and drawing not only on vintage paper, record covers and book pages, but on the books themselves.”

Having books as the canvas for his paintings in this way is such an awesome idea!

“Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery.”

I find his work inspiring and something about it is reminiscent of the innocence of being a young child again.


Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art

Mike Stilkey book sculpture art


I left out one piece of information about Stilkey that made me smile. He started his art later in life because as a young man, Stilkey was quite busy painting graffiti and skateboarding. You just never know what will happen when children finally grow up! That piece of information all by itself is inspirational!

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stéfan October 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

I too loved the column of the Reader's Digest called "It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power". Words are fun.

Great art and great post.

Reply

2 Anonymous October 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

I too loved the column of the Reader's Digest called "It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power". Words are fun.

Great art and great post.

Reply

3 Teresa's Thoughts and Ideas October 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I enjoyed this artist. Unique work. I think our kids enjoy the arts and language as much as we do. They emulate their parents and elders and make connections with us by sharing in the joys of our hearts.

Reply

4 Priscilla October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I love the cat! 🙂

Hello again from VA

– Priscilla

Reply

5 Paula October 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

Oh I love book art. cat is super cool. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

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