Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tea with Marley

Picasso and Matisse were two of the most famous collage artists, and while I don't have delusions of grandeur, collage is one of my favorite art forms. We all did collage in elementary school, fingers all gunky, and the smell of paste and construction paper and crayons in the air, it was, and is, creative fun. This is my second one I've done lately on a birch panel, about 24"x18" and leans more toward realism than I have in a while. My artsy friends and I (We've yet to think of a name for our group.) take turns giving prompts for the next project, and this one was dishes. The thing about collage is you can make up your own rules and then break them in the same painting. My kind of art!

So, my li'l shadow, Marley, thinks his place is wherever I am, even when it means lying on the table where I paint. He drinks my brush rinse water, knocks over paint bottles, samples the rice paper, and would eat gel medium if I'd let him, but mostly he's very well behaved and looks out the window and growls at the occasional passing monster......You may be able to see that his muzzle is pink from investigating my art chalks.

I began with a simple pencil drawing over clear gesso, including some blossoms and a dragonfly that didn't quite make it into the finished piece and then did a watery paint wash over everything. My main colors in this one are going to be orange, rust, teal and gold.

This is the dragonfly that I did use, made from heat sensitive soft rubber foam, embossed with a rubber stamp and then dry brushed with metallic paint.

I have a little collection of Chinese hand carved seals (called chops), and since this piece is taking on a definite Asian feel, I added a seal to it. I couldn't find my red sealing wax, so I used this new gold one, and when I lit it, it smoked and burned my eyes, and made my throat sore.....Alas! How we suffer for our art.

The background is pieces of torn rice paper, some of it painted, some left unpainted, but it's so transparent that my under-painting colors show through pretty well. The torn leaves are painted watercolor paper, and the blossoms are torn from an old counseling book and shaped after being highlighted with chalk and acrylic paint.

The marbled papers I used had gold on them, and I added more gold leaf. One can never have too much gold....or puppy kisses.

I used the same Asian rubber stamp and embossing powder that I did on the blueberry collage because I plan to hang them close to each other.

Now here's the element that caused me to argue with myself for a couple of days, but in the end, it stays. I'm not even sure what it is. I pick up little chotchkies at garage sales to use in my art, and this might have been a shoe decoration at one point in its life, but I like it, along with the canceled stamps and paper scraps because it's unexpected, and it gives the viewer the chance to make up his or her own story about what's going on at this tea service.

For me, the best collages leave something to the viewer's imagination. I have my story about this piece. Do you?
Thanks so much for stopping by. We'll see you soon.
cat & Marley

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cat, love love your blog, your art and of course Marley. He is such a little dragon fighter. Like our pups. You bring so many feelings to our hearts.