While I settle back into my home studio, I've been pretty content working on abstract collage compositions in a large Moleskine journal/sketchbook (8.25 x 11.75"). Despite my rather huge paper collection, I aspire to have a more minimalist lifestyle (eventually!) and working like this feels particularly right for the summer season.These analog collages are made with elements ripped from discarded magazines. They do not include any added drawing or painting, just glue. Some imagery is just destined to be salvaged, connected, and transformed.I've been posting these small collage works on Instagram. To see more, follow me there at janicemcdonaldart. In the meantime, here are snapshots of a few of the collages... including one in progress on a work table at the Art Gym.
Here's a photo of a wild "found collage," remnants of papers on a telephone pole, taken on Alberta Street, a burgeoning arts district in Portland, Oregon last week.I'm fascinated with discards, debris, and paper scraps of all kinds — and especially love finding unexpected graphic compositions in urban and outdoor environments.To see another elegant found collage, click here.
This photo was taken yesterday after two work sessions on the latest collage. I use a wet process so there is plenty of drying time to consider my next additions. I don't plan the composition in advance but begin with something I like and build from there. Some of the elements that appear now may be covered up with others before it's over.
At left is an example of one of the surprises inherent in working this way... once the selected paper is damp with glue, images on the reverse side may show through. Sometimes remnants of imagery remain after the piece has dried, sometimes not. In this case the woman's face and high heel went away almost completely. I enjoy discovering how much will remain. It adds another "unknown" to respond to as I work. (You can see the dried blue area in the upper right portion of the larger collage image.)
More updates soon.
The back of the canvas (above) has been interesting to me. Typically I work on wood panels so seeing how the papers are adhering to the canvas has been fun. The dotted texture is created when corrugated is applied to the front of the canvas. I'm thinking if I decide to work further on canvas, it'd be intriguing to approach the composition from both sides, applying some pieces to the back side in order to have a textural effect appear on the viewing surface.
This piece is nearly complete now and will be shown in January at Spark Gallery's Members' Show. Thought I'd post a few of the steps along the way. You'll see that I've turned the canvas to evaluate which way the composition is strongest as it evolves. I'll post the finished collage here soon.