collage, chine collé, à coller


I often ask myself why I enjoy collage. What is it about assembling and reconfiguring different bits of paper – in my case drawings, etchings, and monotypes – that is so satisfying? Creating a visual perspective by connecting seemingly disparate fragments so that, hopefully, they work together successfully is like locating the missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a pleasing moment for sure.

Some of my earlier collages were attempts to deal with my frustration with painting. Collage represented something I could do that was intimate, not involving large amounts of time or expense.

Collage 23, 17×13

Collage 24, 13×17

Collage 27, 17×13

They were fast and fun, using fragments of materials on hand. I made a promise to myself not to go back and rework them, just to keep making more, otherwise I wouldn’t see where this process was going to take me. After looking at over 30 of these, spread out on my studio floor, I decided to mount one on a panel, painting a color field in the surrounding area, a process I had been doing for a long while . I liked where it was going and continued to work on larger collages.

Radicle 6, Encaustic, 40×40

Radix 10, Mixed Media on Panel, 40×40

Radix 13, Mixed Media on Panel, 40×40

Radicle 9, Encaustic, 40×30

My eye would follow, as a musician might read a line of music: a new order and perspective was created by the juxtaposition of lines and shapes.

Sometimes I found myself focusing entirely on these intersecting black lines, as they weaved in and out of focus, sections of them covered by other lines that had been added through this collage process. Now it was getting fun.

Radix 17, Mixed Media on Panel, 30×30

Radix 18, Mixed Media on Panel, 30×30

Radix 19, Mixed Media on Panel, 30×30

Dimensional planes were being created that hadn’t appeared before, a subtle sense of depth and space, inviting the viewer to look more closely.

There are days I work on a sole fragment (my next Blog), enjoying the simplicity of one, rather than many. I feel very fortunate to be able to go back and forth working between the 2 processes with equal enjoyment and ease. Each time I return to working with multiple fragments or working with a single piece, I’m influenced by what I’ve been doing with the other and look forward to seeing where the process then takes me.

Radix 1a, Mixed Media on Panel, 30″x60″

Here’s a link to a Blog about collage which includes my work: