Variation on the Variations

A few days ago I worked on three small collages using similar shapes and colors but different compositions.  The colors and layers were subtle and a keen observer pointed out that they just weren’t translating well on the computer screen.  I agreed, but thought it might have more to do with the actual pieces, not only the viewing medium.  My husband saw them potentially framed as is, and hung as a series of three.  Since it is doubtful that I will frame any of my explorations, I wasn’t interested in going that route.

Hoping to pack more punch, I reduced the white borders around the images by half.  Mounted on three different colors of paper and glued to a larger surface the variations still needed some connective fiber.  I lugged out my sewing machine and stitched over drawn lines that are meant to unify and energize the sleepy little pieces.  Since the format of all the collages basically leaned toward using rectangles, I decided the less static and more dynamic diagonal needed to make an appearance.  

The watercolor paper on which the collages are mounted is a lighter weight, less expensive material than I am accustomed to using.  It did respond to the sewing and bend more easily, but also dented a bit as I maneuvered it on the sewing machine.  A few more metallic gold dots to punctuate the lines (and also hide the reverse stitching which isn’t perfect) and I am basically satisfied that the variations now have a bit more visual interest.  Most of my work of late has had some reference to real life.  Although I have done many totally non-objective pieces in the past, these were the first that I have done recently that weren’t substrate exercises from Bee Shay’s book “Collage Lab.”

The guilt I felt because it was a lovely weather day here and I still chose to stay indoors to work on art instead of taking Bella for another walk to the park didn’t last long once I got into my project.  Hopefully the spring storm headed up the East coast will not involve us tomorrow night.  I promised Bella we would make up for our lost walk before long.  An early morning trip to Wegman’s provided me with the opportunity to buy two nice $6 take-out meals:  an entrée and two sides for each dinner.  Cooking cuts into art production and art production cuts into dog walking.  Everything is connected.  Hopefully my variation collages are better connected now, too.

About circuitousjourney

Retired Art Teacher
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