15" x 15" collage on matboard
sewing, hand printed and painted papers
15" x 15" paper collage on board
thread, paint, printing, frottage
I have been working away on collages based on the grid (what I think of as "geometric" in nature). To me, they are reminiscent of traditional quilts with their orderliness, separate blocks and geometric shapes. They aren't perfect though, not lined up with straight lines, and I am trying to decide of this is something that will bother me or if I can just make it part of the piece. I think it fits with the idea of everyday life not being perfect, it's a metaphor for that, but still. I don't think things like this should hinge on perfection though. It's really not the point for me when being creative. For now though, this is how it is going to be.
What is exciting for me though is the sewing. If the viewer zooms in on the photo they can see that I have taken to sewing the borders of the paper blocks. This is very new for me. The blocks themselves are not sewn together to make one big block. The edges are simply stitched. I should say that for the most part the blocks are individual. There are some though that are taped together on the back. This is new for me too. And the biggest new thing is how I am now adhering the blocks to the board via double sided tape. Previously I had been using rice based glue which I really love. But when gluing multiple pieces of layered paper together it doesn't really work well. (It gets very lumpy.) This is all technical type stuff (who cares right?) but it is part of what allows me to make something that I want. You really do have to learn what your materials do and how to work them.
The last thing is that I have started a project. I made myself a sketchbook using my painted papers and two boards covered with my papers. I used some special stitching (coptic stitching) to pull everything together. There are about 40 blank pages inside to fill. I have been taking the remnants of my papers and doing small 4" x 6" collages. I am trying to test out different ideas like color combinations, varied print scales, varied pattern scales and embroidery and stitching. I do one nearly every day which is great. They are quick and fun and I don't have too many rules other than to try something new. I am extremely pleased so far. The first collage shown above is an "adaptation" of one of the practice collages in my sketchbook. The title is called "Adaptations" because the piece is really just one interpretation of the original collage. I had to adjust or adapt my thinking to not copy the original collage completely. Something in a small format doesn't always work good in a larger format. The title also reminded me of course with how in nature, in real life, creatures adapt and evolve every day as well as over long periods of time. Humans included!
In any case, I will need to decide how to share the book when I am done. Stay tuned!
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