Collage experimentation

My experimenting with collage continues to be about shapes, scale, imagery and bringing it all together.  In light of the feedback on recent works I have been trying to really get at the heart of what I am trying to say or do in these works.

It has two distinct aspects. The first is what am I saying? What are these collages about?  The second issue is how am I creating the image I want to convey this?  Basically I’m really trying to dig into the What and How?

‘What’ is the question of the narrative.  What is the story, message, idea I want to present.  What are these collages?  Are they ideas, memories, portraits, commentaries?  I’ve circled around all of these ideas—sometimes all at once– which has led to some chaotic and crowded images.  More and more I seem to be trying to simplify, really edit the bits and pieces to keep only what is important in the collage.

This leads to some of the ‘How’ questions.  How can I keep the integrity of each piece of the collage while bringing it into a cohesive whole?  I want the images to blend and merge but not lose their independence/identity.  I am working on getting the order of applying the images correct so that the correct pieces emerge from the background.

I’m also working on titles.  I don’t want to lead the viewer too sternly in any direction but I recognize as the artist I need to say something about each piece that gives some context, some entry point.  So many titles seem pompous and contrived. 

Though perhaps not illustrated in these examples, I am still really searching for a way to incorporate words into my collages.  Not like cut-out ransom note words, but words from books or magazines that can have a new meaning in a new context. In my on-going sketchbook project I have highlighted words or a phrase on each page before I begin and have used that as a title or stepping off point for each little sketch.  It seems easy and logical when I am using a book page as my base, but I’m trying to find a way of doing something similar without necessarily needing the continuity of a whole book.

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