5x7 inches, torn and cut altered papers
This week I am relearning what I knew for years. One of the best ways to understand something is to explain it for someone else.
I am part of a small group of artists who meet at a local senior center (that sounds bad, but isn't), who meet once a week for a couple hours to make art and talk together. Most paint or draw, though one other woman has been experimenting with collage work. Officially it is called Open Art Studio, but I have come to think of it as Art Play Date.
Anyway, I agreed to demonstrate how I have been using altered papers in collage work. I plan to demonstrate how to create the papers with CitraSolv and National Geographic magazine photographs. It occurred to me that making the papers doesn't really give people much of a start unless I also demonstrate some examples of how I have used the papers. Which led me to the idea that I should make a small series of abstracts with just the altered papers, perhaps also demonstrate some sample compositions. That's why I made this one. I used cut and torn papers horizontally toward the top of the image, perhaps suggesting some sort of landscape - or not. My dear husband says the squares destroy the suggestion of landscape, though I disagree. I plan to make another with horizontal elements toward the bottom of the paper as well, and one with vertical elements, radial composition, and so on.
I like this little abstract as it is, but I find myself constantly wondering, "What if?" What if I use a spray adhesive instead of a glue stick or gel medium? What if I varnished the piece with an acrylic top coat? What if I stenciled something over the image, or added some texture, like corrugated cardboard? How about sprayed on webbing or a bit of gold leaf? What if I tried duplicating the colors, textures in paint in a much larger format?
Probably the only way to learn the answers is to make a series of similar pieces and try out the ideas, which multiply like wire hangers in a dark closet once I get going. But for now, I think I had better just make the demonstration pieces and let my fellow art playmates come up with some ideas of their own.