Thursday, March 31, 2011

The process of progress

As I continue to make collages, find inspiration in my materials and my daily life, I often wonder what drives the process.   What pushes me to make progress on one particular piece and not another.  I often find that I start on one and then another inspiration crowds its way into my thinking and won't relent until its end product is finished.  As a result, I may have two or three collages in various states of completion, okay, truth be told I frequently have five or six in the works.  One time, I looked around and counted twelve. Twelve!  That's excessive. 
Today I count six (although three of those are a set of identical collages).

The least complete is this one:

(Grow collage, in progress)
 This one was inspired by the coming of spring.  I gathered a number of papers and ephemera that spoke of springtime.  I laid them all onto a blank, white canvas (you can sort of see the edges.)  Maybe the canvas I chose is too small?  The letters will spell G-R-O-W.  Nothing yet is glued. Nothing yet is set.  Will I include some hardware?  Will I use a quotation?  Should I use paint instead of paper?  Although the ideas continue to germinate, this one is stuck.

The newest one(s) are a set of identical, simple ones that I will use as a gift.  They don't have very many elements, but copy a vintage design.  These will be simple to finish, but have been in the idea book for a few months:

(Three similar canvases, handmade white paper background,
red paper borders, drying on the studio floor.)
 This one is one of the oldest.  It was an experimentation piece as I was doing some exercises out of a collage "instruction" book.  I used pattern paper as a background.  I also tried out gel transfers - see the two ladies on the left.  I have been messing with these elements for months.  It continues to sit on my work table in a state of undress.  I am truly at a loss.  Maybe I should just start gluing things down and move on:

(Collage - waiting and waiting to be completed)
 Finally, this one is a quickie!  I had painted the red square canvas a while ago, and while futzing with the Grow Collage, the girl in this vintage reproduction advertisement jumped out at me.  The elements of this one just seemed to fall together.  It still needs final details, I have  few metal pieces to adhere.  I have to build and paint the wooden box that will go behind.  But this one is most likely the first one finished from the unfinished ones I have laying around.  It is also the one I have started the most recently:

(Fortune collage- just got its topcoat of clear acrylic, drying on the lawn)
 So, as I continue to create, I continue to ask myself questions.... continue to look for inspiration... continue to try new processes and techniques... 
I am excited with my progress.  I can see an evolution in the style of my work.  I can see a forward movement in my process.  It is often as much about the process as it is about the progress.

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