Another Friday Evening

Another week has gone by and today marks the end of August. It is hard to believe that I have been back in the classroom for 4 weeks now, I am still trying to adjust and avoid the tiredness that seems to overwhelm me at the end of each day. Below are the collages I made this week

8-26-12, “Center of Attention”, 6″x6″, mixed media on board

8-30-12, “Poultry”, 6″x6″, mixed media on board

8-31-12, “Overworked”, 6″x6″, mixed media on board


Remembering Rascal

Remembering Rascal

6-2-12, “Remembering Rascal”, 6″ x 6″, found papers on fabric mounted on board

Rascal – 1992-2012 – May his thirst be forever quenched

I didn’t have Rascal living with me for very long, just about a year or so; we were his retirement home. He came to us via my daughter Rainy…but let me start at the beginning….Four years ago, Rainy met Rascal when she was working at the Kitty Clinic near Olympia, Washington. He was being boarded for a short stay. When his owner, Mr. Barker, came to pick him up, Rainy commented on what a wonderful cat Rascal was. Mr. Barker was stationed at Fort Lewis and was about to be transferred to Hawaii. He told Rainy that he wasn’t going to be able to take Rascal with him because he didn’t think that Rascal, who was 16 years old at that time, would be able to survive the 6 month quarantine. He asked Rainy if she would be interested in taking Rascal. Rainy had to think about it as she was living in a studio apartment at the time and was already the proud owner of two cats; Lux and Jasper. Rainy and I talked on the phone, I encouraged her to take Rascal. When she called Mr. Barker to tell him that she would take Rascal, he started to cry and said the Rainy “was an angel sent from Heaven.” Rascal was not a healthy cat, his kidneys were already failing just due to old age, but she loved him and welcomed Rascal into her home. Rainy took really good care of Rascal, it helped that she was working for a cat vet at the time! Whenever Rainy came to visit us here in Phoenix, she always brought he cats with her. Not too long ago, Rainy asked if Rascal could stay with us when she left as she was going to be doing some traveling and she wanted to be sure that Rascal would be well taken care of. Rascal was always thirsty (a result of failing kidneys) and liked to have fresh water. Plus, he had to be fed can food frequently. Of course we agreed to have Rascal stay and live with us and our three cats and our chihuahua. He was a sweet old man cat who walked with a shuffle and had a raspy meow. He could still jump up on our bed to sleep with us at night. We loved him immensely. Over the past week or so, we noticed that Rascal wasn’t moving around as much and when he walked his head hung low. This was about the time when I started making the collages on fabric and I made two of Rascal; I knew something was going on. Yesterday afternoon, we got home from getting cat food and a new harness for Rascal and found him collapsed on the floor. I picked him up and held him in my lap, comforting him as he journeyed into his next life. I miss him.

Found Paper Collages

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.


“Rascal”, 5-27-12, 6″ x 6″, found papers on linen mounted on board

I started with an image of Rascal, our 19 year old gentlemanly cat. This one is very simple, which reflects the beginning of my new journey into collaging.

“Lilly”, 5-28-12, 6″ x 6″, found papers on fabric mounted on board

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.

“Dog”, 5-29-12, 6″ x 6″, found papers and objects with acrylic paint on linen mounted on board with a plastic overlay

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.

“Rascal”, 5-29-12, 10″ x 15″, acrylic, graphite pencil and found papers on linen mounted on board

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.