Friday, June 22, 2012

I had a post that was supposed to go out earlier than now, but I'm waiting for some information on the topic from my mom, so it will have to wait. Thus, the lag between the last post and this one. I was going at a better clip on posting and intend to do so, but the waiting extended longer than I thought. So, onto this one!

When I'd posted about creating my first collage and the creative process behind it, I ended that post with, "I look forward to seeing what comes next." Well, here's what came next:

My Latest Collage

A couple of weeks ago, I completed this second mosaic collage. I went back and forth about what I was going to create, and kept coming back to a cow skull. Since many people have asked after seeing it on my Flickr and Facebook, this piece is 19x18 inches unframed. Shannon was kind enough to take the above picture for me. Now, if you'll bear with me...

BEGIN: Artsy fartsy explanation of inspiration for piece:

The inspiration for the piece was the stripped down freedom that I've been feeling since I've been creatively liberated. I'm finally creating without obstacle, or baggage (skin, flesh, clothes, mental worry/limitations) and putting exactly what is in my mind on paper. To me, bones are us, stripped and presented completely as we are. The skeleton is the rigging that holds the rest of our parts up and is simply what it is. Also, it's a symbol of strength and truth, which I feel I'm finally communicating from. 

Even though cows were imported to America, the cow skull has a Western/Midwestern and distinctly American origin that I associate with my upbringing, but also has a mystical, spiritual presence as well. Bones are a story that is a mystery. Like seeing a book filled entirely with blank pages, except for a single period at the end of the last page.

END: Artsy fartsy explanation of inspiration of piece.

My Latest CollageAs with the last piece, I painted the textures on a large pieces of Bristol paper first, then cut it into tiles to create the mosaic. The red background is painted with the same technique that I use to paint the textures, and looks less "brushy" and more "woodish" than it appears in the photo. I had to go through a couple background changes, as the first color that I used for it was too muted and rose. I changed it to a deep red and I'm really happy with the result. I've already had two people inquire about purchasing this piece, but right now it's not for sale. Since these are my first pieces, I'm quite attached to them.

Pre-cut Painted Texture of Cow SkullThis is a crummy iPhone picture that I took of the bone texture as I was about half way through painting it. This involves lots of color experimentation and adjusting during the process. I start with an idea of what I want it to look like, then let go as I'm making a texture. In this case, since I knew I was creating a skull, I made sure to include "cracks" and lighter and darker areas so that I could use them to create depth once I started cutting. Once I'm in the cutting and piecing together stage, it's sort of like making a "create as I go" puzzle. So, when I'm creating textures, I make sure to create room with lots of options of lights, darks and lines that I can use in true collage/mosaic form. I did the same thing to create the texture for the horns. corners and "mount." 

Detail of Skull on my Mosaic CollageAnd, here's a close up of how it looks in the collage once I've cut and pieced it together. I glue everything with archival quality glue. If you so desire, click on any of the pictures to view a larger version.

And yes, a third piece is in progress.