3x3 inch paper collage, from Matisse's Woman Before an Aquarium
3x3 inch college
It's funny how one idea leads to another. I was at the Art Institute, looking at Matisse. A week later I find an inexpensive copy of Transforming Vision: Writers on Art, and am intrigued by the Matisse painting on the cover. Then I go to an Art League luncheon and watch a watercolorist who is inspired by Matisse. I decide to experiment with paper collage, using Woman Before an Aquarium as my inspiration.
Thee four small collages are in my journal/sketchbook, and they look good together. If I do it again I'll work larger, because cutting with tiny embroidery scissors is quite challenging. I'll want to use heavy paper, and not so much moisture, since the paper has a tendency to buckle. Still, I enjoyed studying the original painting (it's on my desktop this week), and adapting it with the materials I had in the studio.
The painting inspired writer Patricia Hampl. Her poem, Woman Before an Aquarium begins this way:
The goldfish ticks silently
little finned gold watch
on its chain of water
swaying over the rivulets of the brain,
over the hard rocks and spiny shell.
She also has a memoir I'm planning to read: Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime. Apparently she visited the Art Institute as a recent college graduate, and was thrilled by the painting, and the book looks at her take on the woman in the painting. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say