Monday, May 2, 2011

Freedom... Freedom... Freedom... Freedom...

Richie Havens sang about it at Woodstock in 1969... Freedom! It's something we have all the time... but yet so hard to grasp... that we may not actually take advantage of it. In these days of high stress jobs, mounting financial debt, and obligations out the wazoo... it seems like there is no time left to take advantage of our freedom. We have a moment to spare, but wait... we shouldn't be using it to spend it on ourselves. There's too much to do!

And so it is with our art sometimes. Freedom is also difficult to put into practice with our art. I have the time, but what do I do? I haven't had a moment to think about it! And now I'm just sitting here, watching the clock wind down and I'm stuck. The solution? For me it was something I have nicknamed Freeform Collages...

What I did was start with a single color scheme... working on a primed base of corrugated cardboard (the box bottoms from a case of water). I took all my favorite techniques, mediums, and layer-able items and typed them out on the computer: paint, stamp, draw, pattern, paper, dimensional objects, old photos, book pages, charcoal pencil, etc. I printed out the list (times 3), cut them up and put them in a bowl and drew one slip at a time... doing what it said.

I would randomly add these items wherever they looked visually pleasing... in the moment! Not worrying about where the collage was going... or what if I didn't like it... or what if I have something later that would have looked good in that spot? Too bad, I told myself! Just commit! And so I did. If I didn't like something, I covered it up, scraped it off, or scratched it out. It was fun!

Eventually a theme would evolve and I would go in that direction. And when I was done... I knew it. It was extremely freeing and fabulously relaxing. I had learned to let go. To make mistakes. And to fix them to my liking. Freedom! I highly recommend it!

If you are interested in purchasing any of these original pieces, visit the Creative Collage section of my Etsy shop. Or for stationery featuring my collage art, check out this colorful set of six cards. I'll also be vending this Saturday, May 7th at the Music & Arts Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ. Stop by if you're around!

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michelle renee bernard