process

Action over time: collage in progress

During work on a recent composed landscape collage, I documented the progress with my iPhone. The images are now formatted as a video for your viewing pleasure. Next time I'll use a tripod but truly there was no room to set one up in my studio!Evaluating the collage from as much distance as I can get.I often had to walk into the next room to get as much distance as I could to evaluate the collage, knowing that it would ultimately be viewed both from long distances and up close. It's very rare for me to work on a piece from the top down (roughly) but I'm generally not working from a sketch either. In this case, it just seemed to develop that way. The final collage, titled "Colorado," is 60 x 40" and is installed in the offices of the Adolph Coors Foundation in Denver, Colorado.

"Rubbish" report... collage demo

Small collage compositions used during my demonstrations.                      The "Art of Rubbish" was planned as an outdoor event but, due to recent flooding in Colorado and high water in Aurora's City Center Park, it was moved into the adjacent library's community room. Art in Public Places provided the set-up (grid walls, easels, tables) which was great -- I've never shown in a festival-type format and don't own the gear associated with outdoor art exhibitions.My exhibition and demo areaTraffic might've been stronger had we been outside, but the people who did seek us out seemed genuinely interested in the art and how all three participating artists were re-using found materials. Along with the artists' displays, there was a large work area filled with materials for people to experiment with.Meanwhile, I was able to demonstrate the wet working technique that I use most often in my collage-making. I had several 5 x 7" wood panels coated with black gesso that I was using to make small collage compositions. In the photo it's easy to see, by the streaks, where I have painted the matte medium that I use as my glue. By the time these are completed, all the black areas will be coated with a matte finish and look the same. As I worked, I kept thinking about how challenging it would have been to demonstrate outside... my little scraps would've been tossed about like confetti! (If I ever do outdoor demos, I'll need to think through how to incorporate lots of paperweights into my table setup or block the breeze in some manner.)It was a fun day -- thanks to all who came by -- and to the Aurora Art in Public Places commission who were so incredibly helpful and kindly provided stipends to the artists. I really enjoyed discussing my work and the larger issues of re-use and recycling with everyone. Hopefully this will be the first of many such events.

Collage finished and approved... hooray!

Jmcdonald.waterfalltriptychThe triptych collage was recently approved by the art consultant and interior designer. At left is a view of the finished original collage. Each panel measures one foot by one foot.Here's a link to the last photo taken while it was underway, in the kitchen — where I'd moved everything so I could walk around three sides to mull over the collage under strong light, and add the finishing touches.Lately I've been posting more process photos to my Facebook page so if that's a good way for you to view my work, I'd love it if you'd "like" me there too. Click here to go there! I appreciate your interest.  

Collage in progress, 3.6.12 (and a nod to surprises)

Mcdonaldcollageinprogress3.6.12
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.

SurpriseAt 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.