Here's the collage in progress as I begin to lay in the root structure and detail the meadow and tree bases with layers of paper.I'm using rice paper for the root structures for its transparency so the colors from below show through somewhat. I'm working with magazine color areas for the plant details... and the patterns from inside of security envelopes for the aspen bark striations!Ran across a wonderful quote while I was in the midst of this work... funny how that happens..."Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves... But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom."—William James, psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)Lovely thoughts.
After the commission was approved, the original collage pieces were scanned at high resolution by Nocerino Editions. The team there works with the scan and software to adjust the colors so they will print as closely as possible to the original. This is no easy feat because of all the different types of paper I've used and the underlying 4-color rosette dot pattern from printing processes. I appreciate their perfectionism!This photo shows the collages in a color corrected light booth awaiting approval. The original pieces (stacked, at right) are compared to samples, printed out on canvas swatches (left) to test colors. Once color was approved, the image was printed at 300% onto canvas, then stretched and varnished.I picked the panels up earlier this week and took them to the framer for final finishing. Below is an image of the pieces laid out on the table at Metropolitan Frame Company, all nine feet of them. Note the hand in the photo to see scale... I had to take this photo from a stepladder! The images look great and I hope the effect will amazing once it's hung.Since this will be displayed in a public space, the three pieces are being set into one very large frame to give them even more presence and keep the three pieces from getting out of alignment with each other.Installation is probably a month or so away but I'll eventually have photos of the piece in its final location to add to this saga.
I'm often asked where the bits and pieces of my collages come from... I have a habit of looking at the negative spaces, the spaces BETWEEN and AROUND the featured items in a photograph. It's often there that I see the patterns, color gradations, and subtle imagery that I find most intriguing and useable.
The large photo above shows a recent photograph from the newspaper that had ingredient potential. (Caveat: It's very dangerous not to finish the paper before I get to it, if you want to be assured of reading the complete story!)
At left is a detail of the photo where I've indicated, with green outlines, the areas that I will rip out for future use.
I was recently explaining how I gather materials during a demonstration to a local art guild. Afterwards one fellow said, "You sure see things differently..." Yep, and I took that statement as a huge compliment!
I'm working on some big new collages for a May exhibition. This is a photo of my work surface yesterday with a 24 x 36" wood panel ready to become something new and exciting, along with a jumble of sorta-solid color elements that I'm exploring. Total chaos, and so far the collage looks completely different from what you would expect, based on this photo! I'll post some in-progress photos soon.