22" x 28" Torn Magazine on Canvas Collage
Just before Halloween, I stopped by Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch, a few miles down the road, and was so taken with the families having fun. Those photos will likely evolve into paintings. However, I was fascinated by the huge field of sunflowers that backed the patch. The hay wagon ride pulled by a tractor takes families through the sunflowers. I've been wanting to do more collage as everyone who sees them at our home are really drawn to them.
I realized after I started this piece that I should adopt a new process that I saw Derek Gores use in his Florida Studio. Derek is immensely successful these days, and I took the magazine collage class from him last year. Derek says he was trying a different approach where he covers the entire canvas before tackling the image. As you can imagine, applying background around these sunflowers was a task for a someone with more patience than I.
I began the piece with a freehand drawing using a felt tip pen on the canvas.
In the beginning
Several days later I started the process of applying some torn magazine with acrylic mat medium. I apply the gloss medium to the back of the paper, put it in place, and then paint medium over the top of the paper. Derek says you embrace the wrinkles. This is such a messy process for me that I do the work in the garage, a bit inconvenient -- take out the car and do setup and takedown each time. We have one car and many bicycless without an inch of space to spare.
A third of the way
Here is the painting partially done. At this point I had some black and color in the lower right. Later I decided to cover over them. Immediate feedback and the ability to easily make changes are perks of collage. Gerald Brommer says keep applying paper until the painting won't stay on the wall. Notice at this point the edges need more variation.
Unfortunately. I forgot to photograph a few of the stages I would like to show you. At one point, I put some bright yellow checked papers in the upper right corner. That sent the high key meter off the wall. I needed to tone it back down. Now you see that I am almost done. I varied the edges so the images did not look like it was made with a cookie cutter. I was so taken with the tops of red lipsticks that I thought I could use them in the left upper corner. That looked unbalanced so I applied a few hints of petals in the lower right corner. I prop my painting up where I can walk by it frequently. My eyes were drawn to the corners of the art, not to the center of interest. They had to go.
Not quite done
In the process of eliminating the corner color, I came up with an interesting variation for the stem in the left corner - a double gold chain. Then I couldn't resist adding a few jewels. You see them in the center of the main flower, the stem of a leaf on the left and the stem of the large flower. Eek -- doesn't work in the center of the large flower. I covered over some and thought it was okay, but I realized I liked the previous version and that was lost forever. So back to the National Geographic and Vogue papers.
Some of the new variations worked. I added pieces of a black and white printout of my photos of sunflowers from Spina Farms. I like to weave parts of my inspiration into the art. I also spent time adding bits of paper here and there to give the edges more variety. Sometimes I purposely added words, which led to the title of this piece. Can you find the title in the painting?
At the top of the post you see the final art. Of course, I can always change my mind. Right now I am looking at a couple of my framed watercolors and I'm going to removed them from the frames and make a few final changes. So I never quite know if I am done.