Monday, 15 April 2013

Mixed Media Collage

I grew up surrounded by art, and first learned to paint hanging around my mother's home art studio. I gave it up when I got married and turned to crafts. It seemed easier, with a full time job, a husband and two kids.

To make a long story short, life happened, and things changed. I returned to painting, finding inspiration in one of my mother's abstract pieces, done completely with layered images and paper.

And so I discovered collage.

collage n. an artistic composition made by fixing bits of paper, cloth, string, etc. to a surface.

I experimented, using photographic images of cemetery angel statues, along with layers of paper and paint. I began with a base of collage, added different painting mediums, and created works of multiple layers, texture and colour.

After a busy work week, Saturday night was my 'art' time. Usually I selected an angel photo and went to work, with little planning or preparation. I had no great ambition beyond making something pleasing to the eye. It was a hobby, not a vocation.

Until 911. 

I felt compelled to express my feelings and reactions to that horrible event, and did so with art and poetry.

The first 911 painting I did took weeks of planning. I searched for just the right combination of images and paper, and played with various designs and compositions, before adding the first dab of glue or paint.

That painting was a turning point. I was not a hobby painter anymore, I was an artist.

No longer could I sit down to paint without some idea of what I hoped to accomplish, what I was trying to convey. 

My work is very abstract, and doesn't appeal to everyone,
and that's okay.

I use images, colours, and sometimes words in my mixed media collage. I collect old books and used magazines, along with whatever paper I might find that looks interesting, or might create some unusual  texture.

Angels are no longer a focus, not since I became fascinated with old buildings left to ruin. I began a series of paintings using photos of some aspect of abandoned buildings, like a window or a door.
I still like to experiment, for, like everything else, there are many new products and techniques available, like gel mediums and gel transfers.

It keeps things interesting, and constantly challenges my creativity.

I have an drafting table in the corner, and on the wall behind it hangs my mother's memory, and in appreciation for the inspiration.

Thank you, Mom.

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