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Altered Surfaces

Reported by Tami Bayer

This beautiful book, Altered Surfaces retails for $16.99 and was not as easy to find as I had hoped. I purchased mine online from Cat’s Craft Cupboard. I’m happy to tell you that this 2008 book is currently more widely available online at Stamping Details, Amazon and Target. You may just need to add this to your library, and I’m hoping you can purchase it locally.

I was fortunate enough to have taken a class from the author of this book, Chris Cozen. She is a working artist with Golden Artist Colors, Inc.. I really wanted to learn more from her, so I’m enjoying the process of taking in the information in her book. It is small, but mighty. Each of the 50 pages is filled with useful information and vibrant samples for inspiration. I would classify it as a reference book. It covers mixing paints and using different types of acrylics, glazing mediums, gels, pastes, and grounds to achieve different effects. Honestly this is a whole new area of art for me. I only have a few of the products in the book to work with, but found that I can do so much with them.


This is a card I made based on the section for making handmade papers using interference colors. The background is made completely with paint on watercolor paper, and the tag is also painted before I stamped it.

The book covers working with paper, canvas, board, and plastic surfaces. So far I have played with canvas and paper. I found her writing style to be just like her teaching style–fresh and inspirational. She discusses what doesn’t work right along side what does work. I love reading about the creative journey she has taken working with artist grade acrylic paints. Even if you don’t have Golden products, I believe that there is much to be learned from Altered Surfaces about color, texture, and form. If you have any interest in mixed media , art journaling, or canvas, this book is a must have.

Do you have this book or have you taken a class from the author, Chris Cozen? I’d love to hear your opinions, if you have.

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3 Responses to Altered Surfaces

  1. Kim H. May 26, 2008 at 8:51 am #

    I have taken Chris Class and have this book! Chris is an amazing teacher. Giving you the change to shine with paint in your own way! Not telling saying “you have to do this”, but giving you many many options of ways to do things. Making sure your own style shines though.

    The book in my opinion is an awesome reference book. Giving you many ways to create different looks. I have read my over and over again. Each time trying something new! I think it is a must have book!

    I hope to take another class for Chris some day!

  2. Sequana May 26, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    I’ve had this book for only a short time – I purchased it at joggles online.

    So far, I’ve taken some handmade papers I didn’t like very well and used some of her techniques to tart them up. I had a few of the supplies she talks about in the book.

    I was very pleased with the batch I turned out. Next up is to do some stamping on them and use them for cards.

    I’d like to begin some collage work soon. I highly recommend this book.

  3. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor May 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm #

    I do not have this book, but it looks like one to add to my library! Your card turned out very nice. I love the way the background looks. Great colors!