Saturday, March 21, 2009

Re-imagining Local Landmarks

Here's a vintage linen postcard of Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.  The back says, Williams Bay on the west shore of Lake Geneva is a recreational center with an excellent beach.  Nearby is the famous Yerkes Observatory, home of a large refracting telescope.  The Observatory is open to the public Saturday afternoons.  The observatory, created in 1897, was the largest refracting telescope used for scientific research.  It was owned by the University of Chicago, but I believe it has been sold, and I am not sure if the public can tour it anymore.  THe large dome is visible for miles around.

I had an idea to use vintage postcards of places that mean something to me to design simple collages.  I've seen this done as quilt patterns, and thought that I could simplify the shapes enough to do a postcard size miniature collage.  This was my plan.

Here is the collage so far,  not so interesting as I hoped, but a start.  It is the same size as the original postcard, three and a half by five and a half inches.  The hardest part of the project was the small size.  It's time consuming and tricky to cut such tiny pieces and glue them down accurately.  A friend recently gave me a large bag of magazines to replenish my stock of colors and textures, so finding paper was not difficult, but the detail on the telescopes was harder than I thought it would be.  I had an idea to do several Wisconsin collages like this of landscapes or landmarks, but I'm not sure how interesting the result so far is.  Maybe it's too soon to tell.  If any of you have reactions, I'd be interested in hearing them.

I'll be away for a week, and look forward to seeing the landscapes and landmarks of Peru.  I'm taking my sketchbook and camera, so I hope to share some of our adventure here.


Rayne said...

I like this. The colors and shapes are clean and bold. I think your idea of using the vintage postcards as a basis for your designs if very clever. I am looking forward to seeing more.

JoAnn said...

I cannot even imagine the challenge of recreating the scene with papers AND doing it on such a small scale. Love it!

laura said...

Love your color choices, Sherry, AND seeing your process. Every time I visit your blog I want to start a collage too!

Kim said...

Lovely. How did you do the shadow on the lawn? Maybe it's just the perfect magazine piece?

I'm surprised and fascinated to hear you got all the color from magazines. I like it and I also like that it doesn't feel finished to you. It is clean and I wonder what you'll do next. I'd love to see more layers and textures--how does one do that? Gessos and gels? Experimenting and playing? Again, I'm learning.

Thanks for showing us all your stages.

Thinking of you in Peru.

mARTa said...

I think your collage work is striking! I just finished reading your Peru posts and imagined myself huffing and puffing up a stone street! It will be exciting to see what art work evolves from this trip.

Margaret Ann said...

OOOh! What a small world...Scott and I visited here last summer enroute back to Illinois from a long day spent in Lake I recall they did have a tour but I believe it was only on one day a week...we missed it as we arrived on the grounds at sunset...only ones there...we enjoyed walking around the building and soaked in the the beautiful serenity of its location! :)