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.
I've always loved the color blue, in all its variations, and been attracted to nearly any patterned blue and white pattern/motif (as evidenced above in a quick stroll with camera through my home.) In culling materials for collage, I rarely find blue and white patterns that are large enough in scale to use in my work... but I rip them out anyway, just in case!
I recently decided to play with the blue and white bits in my sketchbook. I painted rough swatches of black gesso across a spread and am beginning my small-scale explorations in blue and white there. The process is already giving me new ideas and directions for future, larger, pieces. I'm especially enjoying responding to the rough-edged black patches by adding collage elements and have already started another series on paper that experiments with large gessoed areas of black as a basis for further collages.
Sketchbooks, "legacy" projects, and visual journalling have somehow figured in many of my conversations over the last week or so. Funny how ideas connect, collide, and enhance each other in unpredictable ways!I participated in a really wonderful and inspiring workshop on visual journalling with Judith Cassel-Mamet, sponsored by Abecedarian Gallery, over the weekend. I loved Judith's premise that a visual journal needn't be linear. The idea of working a bit on many pages simultaneously, back and forth, in the spaces (intervals) between things, in small moments, really resonated with me. Not surprisingly, working in a layered and additive manner appeals to me as a collagist.It was great fun to work rapidly and freely with mixed media approaches to the pages. I have lots of wild new thoughts about journalling and artist book possibilities.I've decided to try integrating my art idea sketchbook (existing) into an idea/visual/fun/life journal. It's all intertwined anyway. However, my junk mail journal, which has been rather dormant of late, will remain its own entity... as it has a long, storied, and independent history!Hopefully I'll have pages from the sketch-journal (or whatever I eventually decide to call it!) to post here from time to time. The experimental piece shown is a cropped portion of a multi-layered mixed media piece that I worked on during the workshop, then simply taped into my book, to await further play (or not). We'll see... happily, anything goes.