Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Collage -- fun with abstraction

I wrote several weeks ago about my new rules for collage in the fourth quarter and how I hoped they would give me a shot of energy to get me through the year of my daily art.  I had felt in late summer that I was getting bored with my collages, so starting October 1 I decided to include every day something I had drawn, written, printed or painted.

And what surprised me was that when the handmade art came in, most of the appropriated images that have made up the major part of my collages seemed to go out.  Somehow the two kinds of marks didn't want to play with one another.  So for the first time in my almost-two-years of daily collage, I find myself making abstract compositions almost every day.

What a change!  Among other things, I have found that the huge piles of pictures torn from magazines and obscuring my desktop while awaiting use are not getting much mileage.  Perhaps I'll just have a ceremonial burning!  Instead I'm looking through magazines and newspapers to find expanses of solid colors or vague, out-of-focus patterns that read as solids.

For the first time since I started my daily collage, 23 months ago, my design and composition process feels the same as when I work on a quilt.  I'm manipulating shapes rather than images, and it feels a lot more familiar and comfortable.  Much as my foray into narrative representation has taught me a lot and given me a lot of fun, it hasn't been ME.  The abstraction is.

This self-scrutiny comes at a good time, just when I have decisions ahead about my daily art for next year.  Not sure exactly how I'm going to phrase the rules for 2015 but what I'm learning about myself will certainly influence the choice.

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite collages under the new rules.

Check out all my daily collages here, if you're interested.


  1. Love your collages. How great that you complete and document your art daily.

  2. Wow, these collages are exactly the way I love collages: very abstract and minimalistic. And I admire that you really make/made them daily. I started collaging only 3 years ago, with no artistic education - I'm a retired former math-teacher who enjoys and tries being creative after regaining enough energy after a burn-out. I also wanted to get one collage a day done. But sometimes I makes severals a day and then there are weeks when I make other things and no collages....
    It is such a joy and inspiration to stroll through your blog. So much to look at, so much to read and to think about. Thank you for all of this.
    Sending you the warmest greetings from the EU(A).