Saturday, May 4, 2013

Paper Collage - "Cocoon" Cut up the bossy images


Our artist group "exchanged" images, each one of us printed 5 copies of a page of selected images to swap with everyone else in the group, so we all ended up the same exact collection of images to start with.

The workroom was silent (except a little muttering) for an hour!  We were all concentrating, but what to do with that BIG lobster!  I cut him up into different shapes, so he became part of a tree and a vertical element - Now the  composition wasn't about the lobster!  Plus - the butterfly wings became a framing element for the gal - almost like bushes behind her.  It's all about play and seeing things differently.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Paper Collage - "Please Come Home" - Sometimes I cheat

Please Come Home

I confess - sometimes I cheat!  Yup - I liked the abstract design of this collage, but the ship was sailing sideways and it annoyed me.  I know I was being too literal, but still - a sideways ship was just too distracting to me, and if I turned the piece a quarter turn, then the house was sideways.  So a little Photoshop voodoo and I was happy.  even without the ship or the house, I really like the abstract spiral, but those images help tell the story.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Paper Collages "Part of a Story" Using someone else's images is MUCH harder than using your own!

These 2 collages were made at a meeting using the group's images.  This is difficult since you are limited to what images you have at hand AND they are someone else's choices!  I also came with square boards to build the collages on and I found this shape more difficult to work with than a rectangle since there is no clue to go vertical or horizontal.  

When I got home I wanted to keep going so I pulled out some of my box of images and found this one went together easily.  Then I did the "word" exercise.  The first two collages were a struggle, but Part of a Story went together easily.

Part of the Story

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Paper Collages: "Gunning for Geisha" - Using someone else's images

Gunning for Geisha

 My art group decided to take it up a notch, so we all brought in images to "trade" and we were not allowed to use any of our own!  Now THIS was difficult. Believe me, this was much harder than using your own images and we whined and moaned about the assignment  We were all muttering!  But it did force me to get out of the way.  I ended up making a little book to showcase the collages I made from that day.

Some of us in the group feel we are weak in writing.  So we have come up with an interesting word challenge. After you have completed a collage you write 10 words down for each of the collages. Then you turn them upside down and write a paragraph using the words.  But that's not all. You then write another paragraph - and then a third!

This exercise makes you stretch on how to use the words. Usually the first "story" you use the words in obvious ways. The 2nd story you have to stretch, and by the 3rd one you really push it.  We don't consider these exercises to create literature by any means, they are more like little vignettes, but you would be surprised at the confidence they build!

You can't read the words above, so - here were my 3 stories 

Tania's cold choker of gold is just another prison. Her warrior red dress of armor binds as tightly as the geisha's bound feet.

Ignore the leering shadows and the honored Father's whispers. Follow the caterpillar's map to maturity; they trust that they will fly - as they should.

Let our pretty pink toes dance to the ribbons of music and become who you are.

The first image was just an abstract using the leftover pieces.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paper Collages Napoleon/Blues/Bombshell - Using Image I Choose

Napoleon Strut, Singing the Blues, Bombshell

I belong to a small group of artists that meet twice a month to jump-start the creative process, critique, and learn together.  One of our "practices" is to make paper collages. We change the rules around to mix it up and make the exercises challenging, but I will talk more about that later on in the week..  

The three paper collages above were just done by myself using my own choice of images. These are fun since I don't  have to follow any rules.  I grab an image that I like and then search for another image that somehow connects with the first image by color, shape, theme, just something that sparks me, them I am on my way.  

My "start" with the Napoleon Strut was the eyeball and the half circle half on top - repeating shapes always works.  In Singing the Blues the curled up gal sitting in the trumpet was the start.  And in the Bombshell the lighthouse rays connecting to the blonde's head somehow tickled me.

The other thing about collage is after the piece is finished I look at what I have chosen and it usually tells me a story about how I am feeling about something. Our good trumpet playing friend moved away to Maine two years ago and I was saddened by their departure.  I didn't make Singing the Blues specifically about them leaving, but clearly my feelings came out with this piece. 

If I don't find anything that creates a spark, I move on to another image.  This is collage, so I do insist that I don't just find an image that I love and keep it whole, after all this IS collage.  If I use the entire found images I haven't contributed to the piece, so I feel I must cut the images up and add to them. If I adore an image, I may scan it in to "preserve it", but heck - I have millions of images and nothing is that precious!

I find starting with a couple of pieces of binder board (just non acidic cardboard) is a great way to start. that way the "edges" of the piece are established and they keep me in the boundary, and makes me aware of "framing" right away.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Sky's the Limit

Now that's a big bird! The finished size of this quilt was probably 5'x7'. This hung at the Lancaster show a long time ago.  Then the next year my friends went and saw an exact duplicate!  They were furious and I was flattered.  It was hard enough to put this large quilt together, much less try to copy it!  I designed this up in Vermont at a quilt retreat.  Once it started developing Carol Esch turned to me and said "How are you going to put this together?" and my response was - "I have no idea!". I ended up using a ping-pong table to piece it. 

Once it was completed it went in a drawer - no wall was big enough and it was rather intimidating!  Then a friend of mine moved up to NY State and built himself a very open A-Frame Log Cabin and it hangs way up on his ceiling. Perfecto! I'm so glad it was able to "fly high"!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Black Birds

Black Birds

I have something about birds - I love them. Is it because they represent freedom?  I surely would love to fly - like the falcon in "Once and Future King? They are free of the earth and soar through the clouds?  They seem so joyous and just sing for the love of life.  

I saw a tile triptych of Motawi Art Tiles in a shop window, but just couldn't justify the bucks.  So I took snaps of The Nest's window display (one of my favorite stores in Montclair, NJ) and went home and appliqued this wall hanging.