As I work on new collages, I like to experiment a bit, with colours, composition and even the kind of glue. So far, all the collages have been on paper and adhered with Gel Medium. I also enjoy finding other collage artists on youtube and began to do a bit of research into what they were using for glue. One artist that was really interesting and doing fantastic work is 104 years of age! In the video she was in her 90’s,going strong and actually working on the floor of her attic studio. Beautiful work! You must look her up if you haven’t seen her work yet…Eunice Parsons. Very inspiring!
As I watched her arrange and re-arrange her torn bits of old posters and magazines, I happened to notice when she got to gluing down, she used a glue called “Yes”. So I went right out and found some at our local art supply and started experimenting with that. It’s sort of like the glue from a glue stick, but acid free, and comes in a jar. Eunice used a brush to apply it but I found spreading it with old gift cards worked quite well.
Here are my latest efforts. The first three have a colour theme, with yellow-orange and teal blue predominant.
But the last two are much more jewel coloured, teal, magenta and black and white. As with all the paper collages so far, many will be posted on our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt. My next collages are started, but again, something different, on cradled wood panels and will be done again using gel medium.
The beauty of being an artist is that I’m rarely bored. There’s always something to try, something to research, something to mess around with. It can make having to stay home in a pandemic and perhaps suffering from what I like to call “the-four-wall-bouncies” quite a bit easier. I can divert my attention and get into a meditative space in my studio. Making the paper collages has been a great diversion and an excuse to try out ideas, and see where they lead.
This next set is a little odd. I’ve been finding that each of these sets is sort of like a little series but this time 5 of the 6 collages are in variations of the same colours.
And one, totally different. The odd one out, just seemed to come together immediately or close to….
The other five all have elements in common, either the colour, mostly turqoise and orange, or textures or just the “feel”. These collages didn’t come together easily. In fact , I pushed bits and pieces around over a few days. And then, voila, one day I walked into the studio, moved a few pieces around and hey, all of them seemed to get to the finish point. These will be on our Etsy shop, FoundMadeArt, eventually. Still catching up there. They are priced at $60 each and we do offer Free Shipping.
I’m already working on the next set on paper. And I’m planning to do some on small cradled panels and also some small stretched canvases. Got it all ready to go.
Today I’m posting another set of six small abstract collages that I’ve been creating lately. I’m quite enjoying working on these, finally finding a use for all those scraps of tissue and painted paper. Some of these have as an element, scraps from photographs of the seed pods of a wild sweet pea that comes up in our garden every year. I’d taken the photos into Photoshop and upped the contrast and created some interesting lines and textures. Now was my chance to use them. Others have scraps of sewing pattern tissue, just for the lines and colour.
The fun thing with creating these is the layering of colour, textures and lines, each piled on the other. I work from one composition to the other, loosely and intuitively. I enjoy taking my time, pondering, and often trying the same scrap in each composition, until I find the one where it fits perfectly. Once I have it all laid out as I want, I take quick photos to remind me of where everything went before I go back and slowly fasten each layer down with matte medium onto acid free mixed media paper. It’s quite the process!
Each collage is quite small, only about 5.5 x 5.75 inches or approx 13×14 cm. I think they tend to have a cohesiveness and would look quite good in groups. I hope to have all of them posted eventually on our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt soon. They’re sold unframed, priced at $60 each and we offer free shipping too.
Working on a new set now, so more to come! The next set looks to be quite different in composition so far. Experimenting again….
I’m back in my studio, creating a new set of collages and I’m finding it very interesting and fun. They don’t happen really quickly, they take time and lots of pondering of each little composition. Today, I’m posting another 6 paper collages with another 6 still to come. This set is again very colourful. I do like lots of colour. The surfaces are a collection of painted papers, very colourful tissue, bits of pattern papers and even some seeds. The images of seeds are from photos of seeds in our garden. I had a bit of fun taking those photos and manipulating them to high contrast images which ended up being a nice source of texture in the collages. These collages are built up in layers, each layer attached with matte medium onto the paper and then onto the next layer. I will be posting these as well on our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt. They are priced quite affordably and we also offer Free Shipping anywhere. I’m hoping they find homes either alone or in groups.
So, here is my second set of abstract collages. I haven’t given them titles. I like the idea that each one is left to be interpreted by the viewer.
I was expecting to post the next sets of collages much sooner, but, due to a few health problems, NOT COVID, thank goodness, I had to delay. So although these collages have been done for a while now, there was a lot of scanning and preparation to deal with before I could finally post.
I have also taken a big step, for me, and decided to put the collages in our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt! I’m hoping they’ll fall nicely into that “affordable art” niche, something colourful and small to jazz up someone’s walls. I’ve kept them priced quite inexpensively ($60 Cdn), for a one-of-a-kind art work, and hope that they’ll make a nice gift for someone else or just for yourself. We all need a little treat, right? Although they are being sold unframed, here is a little example of one framed. We love to find frames at thrift stores and really encourage everyone to try that too. Great recycling! We’ll be adding more as we go along.
The next batch of 6 collages are again very small, just image size 5 x 5.5 inches (approx 13 x 14 cm), and would work quite nicely framed and hung in groups too. Each composition is created with layers of paper, tissue, painted paper, black and white prints of seeds from the garden like cardoon or sweet pea, even fennel seeds. In some, there is even a bit of tissue from patterns for sewing. Nothing wasted around here…
Here we are, Will and I, basically still at home, staying safe. Making little forays out now and then for curb pick up or quick shops, masked up, sanitizer hand cleaner at the ready. Summer has zoomed by, today the calendar says it’s the start of Fall. But, the time has not been wasted and has been, for the most part, put to good and I may say, even enjoyable, use. The upside of being an artist I suppose. We’re rarely bored, even stuck at home.
I’m taking a short break from the frustrations of dealing my new sewing machine, all that thread changing, stitch setting, constantly reading my instruction manual. Lol. Yes, sewing is not second nature to me. Even though I love playing with the fabric, pushing scraps into pleasing collages. And even though I love zooming around, the feed dogs down, drawing and scribbling with threads and stitches, I said to myself, enough! Time for a change…..
So, I decided to transform my little studio from a sewing studio into a paper collage studio instead. Luckily, I’m quite organized, but then, I have to be. My studio measures about 10 ft by 12 feet (3 x 3.5 m). It’s full to the brim with shelves stacked with dishes for mosaic, a large easel for painting, shelves holding fabric scraps, paints, brushes, glue, tools. All this not to mention, 3 or 4 sewing machines, one new but most rather vintage bargains found at garage sales and thrift stores brought back to life by Will’s talent with oiling and cleaning, So after the work table is cleared, the fabric packed into recycled plastic storage bins, the little ironing board folded and put away, it’s just a matter of bringing up the boxes from under the work table full of folders of paper scraps and voila!, I have the paper collage studio!
Most of my paper collage is made with paper design and textures of my own making. I’m not one for using much from old mags. Lots of mark making is saved. I do like to create abstract collage and for that I need lots of colour and texture. So, every time I paint, before I clean off my plate of leftover wet paint, I use paper from old envelopes, junk mail, whatever and rub the the paper on the leftover paint. It makes amazing one off prints and you get some interesting textures. These are all saved for later use in paper collage. So, before you know it, the table is now piled high with scraps of paper, pencil crayons and matte medium.
I’ve decided to have a bit of fun, work small (around 5.5 x 6in or 14 x 15 cm), do them up, 6 collages at once on mixed media paper. This approach has had the added benefit of keeping me loose and intuitive as I work, each piece is not getting too precious. So I’ve been taking my time, playing with each arrangement, fiddling with details, and enjoying the process. But they’re starting to pile up a bit and I’m planning on putting them up on our FoundMadeArt shop. Some will also be scanned for use on products on our Print on Demand shops too and may become prints, pillows, clothing, furniture, all sorts of things. I’ll be posting each group as they become scanned and ready. Hope you enjoy! Here’s batch #1.
Experimenting with and immersing yourself in a new medium is always fun. For years I was cutting up dishes and making my way through learning the “how to” of mosaic. That lead from making some crazy wall pieces full of ornaments and pattern, to doing more and more work, in an abstract way, playing with the basics of colour and texture. I’d say the surfaces of mosaic still attract me, the glinting of china in the sun, against the dull grout acting as a foil.
While still creating mosaic in a more abstract vein, I was also messing about with bits and pieces of stained glass and creating some abstract and colorful compositions with that. To say I loved the colours in the stained glass would be an understatement. I’m like a kid faced with “Allsorts “candies! And the layers I could make, colour over colour and best of all, the effect of the sun shining through!
Alongside these experimental works I was also creating with paper and collage, mixing it up with papers and texture that I’d created into, again, abstract comps. Paper collage has so many possibilities, so many surfaces and colours, movement of shape and line.
And now, with fabric, I’m finding that there is a bit of a correlation with all that I’m doing. Each set of materials presents it’s own learning curve and challenges. And I’ll admit to doing a bit more swearing while sewing. Me and machines, well, there is need for patience, I’m finding. But, the results and excitement of mixing up patterns, textures, lines and most of all colour, in fabric… well let’s just say I’m having fun but it has been a challenge.
And I’m liking the sense of seeing that all my work somehow relates, whether in broken dishes, stained glass or paper and now fabric. So, today along with a few examples of my other forays into other mediums, I’m sharing a few new fabric collages. As with all the other mediums, often it’s finding a pattern or texture on a dish or glass or paper and now fabric, that leads to a composition.
With these, it was finding fabric with some lovely exciting stripes. I’m a sucker for stripes.
And then of course, colour. Colour is my talisman, and also the thing that attracts me every time. Like a hummingbird to a red flower. Each medium has it’s own qualities and permissions. Glass allows movement and space without having to think about how the grout will affect it all. Paper allows more texture than glass and more line. Then fabric, well, now I’m exploring creating line with thread, texture with layers and applique. More to come! But nothing abandoned. I’ll still create with mosaics, glass, paper collage and now fabric. Just more to add to the pot.