Last night, after a long day at work, after taking the dogs down to Fox Lake for a romp, after putting my dinner in the oven, I managed some time in the studio, continuing work on a series of small collages. Though these photograph as rectangles (allowing me to choose the juiciest surfaces to show), they are actually small squares. With a three inch matt all around, they frame up at 14 x 14 inches.
For many years, I put together the beginnings of one small collage every single day. I’d incorporate bits and scraps of interesting papers – a piece of corrugated cardboard, the corner of an envelope, the frilly edge of paper torn from a spiral notebook – that had found their way into my pockets, along with selections from my large collection of “collage material.” I thought of them like diary pieces: my mood and the weather reflected in the juxtaposition of colors, shapes and textures. It was the way I started each studio session, a way to throw off the rest of the day, and bring my focus to creative projects.
Though each collage has an image and personality of its own, there is language evident in their varied surfaces. I like zig-zags, juxtaposing organic with geometric shapes, and “lines” of cut papers marching side-by-side. I use lots of angles, though rarely precise, and I like shapes to barely meet, at their corners. It is important to have the objects interact with each other, and with the edges of the page. Colors vary slightly from day-to-day, and greatly from one season to the next.
I haven’t taken time for this daily practice in quite some time, but I find the visual imagery is still with me, as is the love of combining disparate shapes and colors to set a mood. That gives me encouragement, for when my time opens up!