Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A good day's work

My mother-in-law has commissioned me to create a piece using black, white and red as my palette.  My job transition has kept me from creating much of anything, but over the past few weeks I've been going through my paper files and pulling out any and all black/white/red scraps. 

I ended up with a huge pile, and a nice mix of hand-painted papers, commercial papers, security envelopes, and bits of advertising.  One brain-dead evening last week I coated all of these papers in polymer medium while watching some mindless TV.


 Yesterday was a paid holiday for me, and I found myself with a surprisingly unscheduled stretch of time.  With all of my collage fodder prepped and ready to go, I was able to sit down and start.


I wasn't sure where I was going, but as with most things, once I started I couldn't stop.  (and I'm continuing my love affair with the polymer medium/tack iron collage technique.  Not a single glue-fail or buckled paper in sight!) I have six finished pieces, a few more in progress, and a couple of silly postcards for good measure.


Each of these pieces is created on heavy 8"x10" watercolor paper.  I used drafting tape to create a 1.5" border, so the collage itself is 5"x7".


I keep changing my mind about which is my favorite.  There's only one I don't like, but I include it here (without telling which one) because I'm often surprised by what people respond to.  


What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Found poetry challenge

Phillip sent me a self-addressed, stamped postcard that looked like this:

It's a simple 4"x6" card with a lot of text on it.  
On the back of the card he offered a challenge - Obscure as much text as I want, in any way I want, creating a"found poem" from the text I leave visible.   He sent this same card to lots of people on his mailing list, and I instantly loved the idea of this project.  I sat down with the text and a notebook and started finding possible "poems" in the text.  

For the phrase "telepathic music guides the people" I knew I wanted to use this picture of WACs in gas masks, but the picture was much too big for the 4"x6" format.  After some thinking, I decided I would cover the chosen words with clear contact paper, paint the entire card white, scan the picture, crop it to the right size, run my postcard through my printer, then peel off the contact paper to reveal the "poem."
Here's the result:

But I was nervous the technique wouldn't work.  So I scanned Phillip's text and re-printed it on white card stock so I could have a practice run.  I needn't have feared, my idea worked perfectly.  But now I still had Phillip's original pre-stamped postcard on my desk.  I didn't want it to go to waste, so I set out to find another poem.  This time instead of using my printer, I made a monoprint for the background and added some collage elements: 

 This was fun.  Back in my notebook, I had all kinds of possible phrases, and now I had the scanned text on my hard drive.  Nothing was stopping me from making another card....

 And another....

I was on a roll, so I kept making more.
I used the same technique as the starting point for each of them - covering selected words with contact paper, painting the background white, and creating some type of accompanying art on that white surface.  The tiny contact paper rectangles get encrusted with paint and ink, but peel off pretty easily to cleanly reveal the hidden words.

I've made eleven different cards (so far) with each phrase extracted from that same original piece of text Phillip sent.  It's probably more accurate to call my cards "found captions" than found poetry, but that's the way my mind works.  I can't wait to see how other people interpreted this challenge.