I have found myself going in a different direction with my daily collages. This new direction was influenced by the work of Fred Otnes, whom I recently discovered as I was looking through Collage Techniques, a book by Gerald Brommer. Otnes works a lot on a fabric background, which I really liked. I simply went through my collection of fabrics and pulled out some neutral-colored ones to begin with. Luckily, I have a lot of fabrics from which to choose from. I simply used some acrylic matte medium to adhere the fabric to a board and progressed from there.
This next collage demonstrates the progression I was taking in that there is a greater variety of papers overlapping one another. I also decided to keep the frayed edges of the fabric rather than trimming them off as I did in the collage of Rascal. I am beginning to realize that I need to make my images a bit larger so that there isn’t so much negative space.
The third collage I just made this morning. I did a number of things differently from the 2 previous collages. First, I used my palette knife to spread some white acrylic paint on the fabric after it was mounted on the board. Aside from using found papers, I also incorporated a plastic element from a wine bottle. In my collection of ephemera I have some old Kodak color printing filters, it was one of these that I attached with grommets over the surface of the collage. I am liking the direction that my collages are going.
I also spent a few days working on a collage that was a bit bigger than my daily 6″ square ones. This is another image of Rascal, this one with his down, which is more representative of how he really is. With this collage, once the linen was mounted on the board, I came in with my palette knife and spread some white acrylic paint across the center of the support. Because Rascal is an orange and white cat, I search through my found papers for ones that were more like his coloring. What I found to use had quite a bit of writing on them, which I liked. Once I had Rascal in place, I realized that he didn’t fill the canvas as well as I would have liked, so I added a few extra features, including lines drawn with graphite pencil. It helped the overall composition, but again, I need to work larger.
Last night was Life Drawing at Stu’s studio. We had a new model, Vanessa. She was a fairly young, thin, African American model with curly black hair that was hard to capture. It was very refreshing to have a model that was different from our norm.
I worked in my 11″ x 14″ sketchbook, with graphite pencil, and focused on achieving correct proportions first, then with the time remaining in each 20-minute pose, I added value. I was surprised that I was able to accomplish so much in a short pose. I finished the night with what I felt like were 4 decent drawings.
As an art teacher, I always create an artwork as I demonstrate to my students the techniques and processes they need to learn. Both of these self-portraits are the results of recent projects.
Saturday morning found me at the assessment center taking my test for National Board Teacher Certification. It went okay….not perfect…but I felt good about it as I was leaving. I got home and put together this first 6″ x 6″ collage, titled “Spending Hours Waiting”. The look on the girls face is how I was feeling, kind of like a deer in the headlights. Now I sit and wait for results of the certification, which actually won’t be available until late November or early December.
Sunday’s collage, titled “The End of Nothing”, is very different from the one I made Saturday. It is full of bright colors, but look closely as there is a knife in the woman’s hand. Just couldn’t resist some humor today.
It is a strange feeling to have the assessment center test done, and the school year is quickly coming to an end as well. At times I wonder what I will do with myself as I have been so focused on National Boards that I am almost lost now that I have time on my hands. Looking on the bright side, there is always art to make. With summer starting I want to focus on myself in that I need to eat better, drink less wine, and exercise regularly. My friend Heidi and I talked about this at the assessment center…now we can take the time to make this happen and to lose some weight along the way. We are both going to work on dropping 20 pounds between now and when school starts up again in late July. I can only make this happen if I stay busy and focused on a goal. Wish me luck.
This week represents the last of the Spirit Collage series as I used all of my “spirit” images. I managed to make one 6″ x 6″ collage over the span of a couple of work days which I titled “Whose Watching Who?”.It was a difficult collage because the spirit figure was fairly small. Of course I added rick rack, which seems to have suited itself well to numerous collages in the series. Next came the cougar and the chicken and I built it from there.
Saturday’s collage is titled “Barefoot Spirits”. It features 2 spirits in knitted costumes, like the spirit in the collage above. I began by painting the background with acrylic paint, but it ended up too dark and a bit on the crimson side. I wasn’t sure it would work for the collage, but once I added the contrasting white strip of paper, I knew the spirits would stand out. The row of girls is from a class photo from when I was in the 1st grade at Squaw Peak Elementary School here in Phoenix.
Today is Mother’s Day, so my last collage is titled “What Every Mother Fears” in honor of all the mothers around the world. This was the scariest of all the spirits and initially I wasn’t sure how I would incorporate it into my series. I knew I wanted a turquoise background, so I started by gathering up assorted papers from my collection. To help it fit within the series, I add some of the shiny red metallic paper that I also used in a few of the earlier collages. Then I added more of my 1st grade classmates. When finished, I realized that all three of this week’s collages had a different grouping of three objects: 3 stars, 3 whirly spots, 3 circles with numbers. It amazes me how the subconscious works at times.
It is Sunday afternoon…I need to do some studying and then I hope to work on my oil painting later in the day. I think I am procrastinating!