Thursday, March 26, 2015

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...

In my quest to find something to scratch my creative itches this year, that utilized much of the ephemera and mementos I've collected from flea markets over time, and that would bring more joy and lightheartedness into my daily making... I began creating these vintage-inspired mixed media collages. That's the something new.

This is where it all begins. Finally finding a landing place for all my papers, old photos, book pages, candy wrappers, scrapbook papers, antique ledgers, music books, tickets, maps and odd little scraps of stampings and such... well... That's the something old. Those things kind of set my soul on fire. If you saw my stash, you might laugh at the tiniest scraps of things that I am not able to part with. I'm not sure why, but the most miniscule piece of torn paper makes my heart beat just a little bit faster.

Being able to get into all the details and embellishing with paint, pencil, ribbons, buttons and other found objects... well... that just sets my brain on fire! I tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak each piece until it looks 'just right'. And what does that mean? When it has the perfect balance of color, visual weight, places for the eye to fall, and the story is clear... that's when I know I'm done.

When did my love affair of all thing collage-y begin? Probably back around the turn of the century! I first discovered a publication called Somerset Studio, that had within it's gorgeous, glossy pages, samples of artwork similar to what I wanted to create. They called it mixed media collage. And so my quest began. I traveled the country to gather and play with like-minded souls. I discovered new and exciting projects and techniques. I found talented and patient teachers and inspirational workshops. One of those masterful instructors was Lynn Whipple. Her whimsical and lighthearted approach to collage inspired me to keep going. And keep going I did!

Earlier this year, when my thoughts turned to adding more joy and lightheartedness into my daily creative practice, my thoughts returned to that special instructor of more than a decade ago. I found an online class she was teaching — aptly named The Joy of Collage — and signed up in a heartbeat, so I could brush up on my techniques and playfulness. And brush up (pun intended)... I did! That's the something borrowed.

I soon became obsessed with making mixed media magic. I could relax my brain and let my heart take over. It was a much needed break from the complex engineering of the sculpted art dolls I made throughout 2014. I started working on multiple collages at a time, all in different stages. I could play with paper, or paint, or stamping, or details, at my leisure with the freedom to choose whatever was calling me at the time. I started creating works in different themes and different colors (that's where the something blue comes in)... all while using Lynn's visual gauge of, "if it makes you laugh, then go with it".

Working in that way, I found that when I'm finished with a piece, I think, "Awww, I'm done already?" And so I'm on to the next one... to create more fun, more whimsy, more joy and more lightheartedness in my creative soul. Throughout this process the ideas keep coming, and I look forward to exploring these mixed media collages in 2015 and seeing where they take me!

Editors Note: Any time I take a class or workshop from a talented, established artist or instructor, I always ask their permission before I make any work utilizing their techniques public. It's good form and good karma.

6 comments:

  1. this is wonderful!! love your blog and love your wonderful collages, so full of color and fun and great design too!!!

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    1. Thank you so very much, Lynn! That means a lot coming from you. :o)

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  2. I just found your blog! Your art is awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    PS. Wish we had a cool flea market like the punk one here.

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    1. Thanks so much Cindy for your thoughtful comments and kind words!

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michelle renee bernard
www.YesterdaysTrashArt.com