Monday Motivator: Contemplating Collage

Monday Motivator

“Like grief and like composting, collage is slow, contemplative work. It is work that both wanders (invites us to pause on this word here and that image there) and wonders (asking, What is this image? What could it be still?) … Collage asks us to sit in the fragments that embody our losses as we find in them new combinations, perspectives, and ways of making art in the world.”

Mica Mahato, “Material Losses: Collage Comics as Elegy” in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature, p193

When we moved from the Isle of Skye to Aberdeenshire two years ago I threw my pile of not-quite-worked, never-went-anywhere, and dud paintings done on paper into the recycling bin. I had been telling myself I could — and would — use them for collage, but hadn’t yet. And now I am staring at a similar but new pile wondering why I still haven’t, yet.

I enjoy paintings involving collage by several contemporary artists. I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate texture that don’t involve acrylic mediums. I love torn edges on sheets of watercolour paper. Studio cat Freyja loves playing with scrumpled paper. I have glue and numerous pairs of scissors. So why do I reach for a new sheet every time instead?

Maybe the answer lies in tearing up a painting before adding it to the pile, so it’s already something else to what I had been trying to make. Maybe just in half? 

What I have done is cut some up and fold them up to be prestarted concertina sketchbooks with fabric-covered cardboard covers. As creative catalysts, so you don’t start from a white page. Maybe it’s easier to continue with a background someone else started? I’ve been thinking about selling them through my webshop, so do let me know if you’d be interested in these.

2 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Contemplating Collage”

  1. Having worked with some of Marion’s ‘Creative catalysts’, I can only say that it is a great idea to make then available to other artists.
    I loved having a starting point on days when I couldn’t face a blank page!

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