Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's not always the one you think it's going to be

Yesterday I asked you which of the weekend collages was your favorite.

So many of you commented that you liked this one best:

It's one of my favorites, too, but it didn't start out that way.

This is a lesson in not giving up on things you think are ugly.

I started the postcard series with four larger collages and the plan to cut them up:

Of the four, the orange was my least favorite.
I thought I was going to love the lower left after I cut it because it has those awesome colored circles and a really cool bit of textured silvery paper.

But it just wasn't working.
I slapped down an image from an old book to act as a better focal point, and then hated it so much I tried to peel it off.  It left a whole lot of papery residue behind and the card was even worse.  I cut the tulip image out of a napkin, to be the replacement focal point but it was weird and didn't feel integrated.  I smudged the edges of the card with a dark brown ink pad to give it a border, and I kind of liked the way the dark color highlighted some of the texture, but the overall look of the whole card was still odd.
Grasping at straws, I took my favorite circle stencil and blotted on some gesso.  I had intended to add some kind of color on top of the gesso, but once it dried, I ended up liking it just the way it was.  All it needed was a touch-up of the brown ink around the edges and suddenly this card that almost ended up in the trash became a favorite.

Gesso can fix anything.


  1. Ooooo, I must try the magical gesso solution next time I get frustrated because it really worked some on that collage! It is beautiful!

  2. You really have some great collage images. I had almost decided to give up on a painting I should be carrying on with today because I hate it so far. But your post has made me say 'right, get in there Jez and carry on in the true Karen spirit'. So thanks for the kick in the rear!

  3. I need a new art supply friend; maybe Gesso & I should get to know each other :). It sounds Italian, :D, so maybe love is in the air!

  4. You can buy your bottle of gesso, Gina and name him Giuseppe!

    Moral #2-Power through the'll be surprised in the end!

  5. This is such a good reminder! And your new results are FAB. I love my gesso too and use it all the time, but just as importantly, the idea of working thru the uglies is invaluable.

  6. What a great lesson. I love how it turned out, I'd never have guessed where it started from...

  7. I love this. I agree completely about the favorite collage, by the way. But I was too lame to be there to vote. So who cares what I think?

    My envelopes just went out, by the way. That's going to be a mess when you open it! and my fingers are sticking to the keyboard so I'd better go.

  8. I just now had a chance to look through all of your collages, and I think this one is my favorite, too! Interesting to hear the story of its evolution...glad you stuck with it!