16" x 20" painted paper collage
painted and found papers on matboard
Hopefully January is finding people happy and productive. 2021 was just so damn hard that I sincerely hope 2022 is off to a better start for folks.
I wanted to share the above finished piece and sketches. I will start with the sketches first which are the smaller pieces shown directly above. I can't say enough good things about working in a sketchbook. When you can't go big as they say, there is no need to go home (as also suggested). Just go directly to your sketchbook! This advice really applies to anyone and any venture that they might be engaged in, creative or otherwise. Often times life is about going through the motions. Something very small is more manageable at times than something very big. If you can get going on just one small thing, then that small thing might snowball into something else. The point is to just keep going; keep feeling vital. Like others, I sometimes don't feel up to a huge project. A small sketch might just take a portion of my morning as opposed to a week or two like the finished collages that I make. The sketches are very gratifying in that they keep me moving forward. If I don't like them it doesn't matter much. I can easily do another one. It isn't really that I take an idea that I like either and make it larger with the larger pieces. I just think that working consistently on something keeps the tracks in your brain clear so that when that big train does show up, well, the path is open, to let that train through. (Maybe metaphors aren't my strong suit but what the Hell!)
The finished collage (first pic shown above) was quite a nice surprise for me. I really want to share some of the elements that made it come together. First, I re discovered a free graphics site and explored and downloaded some of the images (that's where the picture of the woman came from). I also inadvertently figured out how to reverse an image while using Microsoft Word. Fruit crate labels have become a new favorite thing for me and I have been using portions of the images and the letters. My friend, Carol, also gave me some fun playing cards with cartoon images and so I have been using those as well. And lastly, my husband has been kind enough to let me cut up some of his magazines. There are all sorts of great graphics in the magazines that have been really fun to try and use.
Using letters and words in my work is something I never imagined doing. I am just not the kind of artist who presents a message, written or otherwise, though I know many artists do. I am not really good either with memes and sayings and feel good messages like you might find on FB or IG. They just don't speak to me. But, I love text and images and all sorts of graphics. And I love puzzles. So, with that said, when you cut up text and rearrange it or when you isolate colors and images from a magazine page, that's just a horse of a different color! I absolutely love that you can take something out of context and do something else with it entirely. That really appeals to me. So, the challenge for me is to make something visually pleasing that isn't too busy or fussy. I want to apply what I like with my other collages to these new pieces that use words and letters and images. I haven't a clue what I am doing most of the time but using my own design ideas helps guide me. It's been very fun so far.
Lastly, I have some photos to show. I went on vacation to Monterey late last year. I have also been on lots of walks at my local lake. Additionally, I have become smitten with all things fungi related (I am taking an online webinar). So, I have some images of mushrooms from my own yard and from my walks. Don't ask me what the fungi are, I have no idea!
I changed my website format a bit. The menu bars are now on the left upper side. I know my site looks dated but that will have to do for now. I imagine eventually the Weebly/Square Space will no longer suit me and I will hem and haw and be aggravated and then do something different. We will see. In the meantime, if you are reading and would like to pass this newsletter along to a friend, please do so. It would be nice. Also, if you want to drop me a comment or communicate, please send me an email directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't leave a comment here as I don't get notified even though I have opted to do so. I am sure it's a Conspiracy of some sort.
Thank you for reading!