Featured OAA Artist
The pandemic and the state of the world made my creativity take a big hit. I just couldn’t seem to ﬁnish anything. So I turned to collage, one of my favorite ways to work. The collage process is like a jigsaw puzzle that gives me a way to silence the noise, forget what might be worrying me, and totally occupy the moment. Life is messy, and I just have to get out of my head and let the art pour out of me.
I like the appropriating nature of collage. Collecting and making imagery and various materials are for me just as exciting as making the collage itself. The littlest thing can speak to me with such signiﬁcance.
I start by sifting though my various piles of materials. As I look through these papers I start to sort out little piles that I like. Some are arranged by color, content, pattern or whatever I am drawn to. I’m not too worried about anything at this point. Sometimes I carefully design, plan and organize; but more often I develop the work intuitively, by building one piece at a time- building a surface by constantly adding and altering until I am satisﬁed.
As the work progresses I have to start making more careful decisions about what comes next. The closer the collage comes to being ﬁnished, the harder it becomes. It helps to think about how one element informs the next. I cut and tear papers. And make trial compositions. When the arranged and rearranged shapes are ﬁnally positioned, they are glued down. With collage I can create a picture organically simply by moving pieces around on a page.
With “Blooming,” I collected dozens of images of ﬂowers and leaves. I also made some painted papers to allow for some interesting textured surfaces. I cut several dozen circles of various sizes to form the reconstructed petals and greenery in the blossoms. I brought the “bouquet” together by incorporating thin stems of painted papers. I like that this piece is full of color and whimsy.
"Blooming" Collage 18X18
In “Uplift” I used the diﬀerent sized circles again, but almost all of the pieces are hand-made, incorporating various paints, printing using a gelatin plate, stamps, stencils. The process of making these collage papers has become almost a form of meditation, choosing my colors and using them to suit my own taste and the project I have in mind.
"Uplift" Collage 16X20
“Four Birds in the Bush” is part of a series about birds in fantastical settings. Hopefully they bring the viewers a sense of joy! I had fun juxtaposing disparate elements, styles and colors against one another.
"Four Birds in a Bush" Collage 12X18
Collage is really the art of “listening to your materials.” If I stay open, I sometimes surprise myself with what emerges.