The Collage Process Explained

October 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas, Mail Art | Leave a comment
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  1. First there’s a rough idea for paper collage design, or two or three ideas.
  2. Scanning your immaculately organized studio, you consider the backing/support. Heavy watercolor paper, Bristol board, museum board? Rummaging through a drawer, a file, a cart, you pull considerations out onto the desk.
  3. You bring out the stored decorative and handmade-papers. Seeing the colorful bags sorted by type and size, you feel so TOGETHER.
  4. You plug in a Mozart tape.collage-table
  5. Tear. Cut. Snip. Hey! Let’s make four different collages at once, or more!
  6. At the counter, arrange, and rearrange the paper shapes on the backings. You vaguely notice that there’s an equal amount of bits and pieces on the floor.
  7. They need something else, pop the lid off that other bin of collected oddments!
  8. By now, every studio drawer should be hanging precariously open.
  9. You didn’t notice that the music ended long ago.
  10. For the fifth time you’ve misplaced the small and large scissors, and can’t find the Xacto-knife.
  11. You bring out more scissors. Plus you consider a yellow silk ribbon; 5 inches of orange cotton cord; 1960’s stickers of a chicken, a t.v., a hula girl, and a rubber duckie; a vintage matchbox; a soap wrapper from India with elephants; and textured metal buttons. None of which you’ll use.
  12. Right about here, every surface in the studio should be covered with collage materials. The purple papers are in the orange bag, and the tans have disappeared. You feel, MMM…words fail.file-drawers-top
  13. It’s time to glue: with paste or acrylic medium depending on the paper’s weight.
  14. You glue  in layers, covering each in pieces of plastic drop cloth, so they won’t stick to the big art history text you weight them down with to dry. There’s likely a place left on the floor to put them.pastes
  15. Another layer, more stuff.
  16. If you did it right so far, the palette knife for the paste is glued to a CD cover; the acrylic medium brush is best friends with a paper towel; one shoe is stuck to the floor, and the other is trailing a bit of Thai pink mulberry paper; there is unexplained ink on your hands.
  17. Then, suddenly, you are finished- can’t remember when you started, but it’s dark now. Looking around at the chaos, you feel GOOD.
  18. That’s right, collage had its way with you.
  19. The next morning it takes an hour, or two, to reorganize, put back, wipe down …you find the scissors, and the bag with the tans under the canvas cart.
  20. You arrange some of the collages for a photo shoot.

    Collage Postcards by Joan Desmond 2013

    ©2013, Joan Desmond, Collage Postcards.

  21. Hah! such a clean and tidy pic.
  22. Collaged, mail art postcards, ready for messages, addresses, and stamps. For the Grandkids. Sending some art through the mail.

Doodle-Do

January 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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doodle detail by Joan Desmond 2013

©2013, Joan Desmond, doodle detail.

Webster’s defines doodle as: (to) dawdle; trifle; an aimless or casual scribble, design, or sketch; also: a minor work; Synonymous with fooling around, messing around, fiddling, puttering, etc. The definitions imply that simply making marks on paper, idly, is something unworthy of serious consideration. I once believed that also. My understanding is different now. Now, I see doodling as very similar to intuitive painting. Art is all about making marks.

As a method, doodling is a great brainstorming, block breaking, and creative thinking exercise. Much different than an observational drawing or a planned composition, drawing without a set goal can access the subconscious and key into universal symbols, such as the circle, spiral and triangle. Doodling can also be a starting point. A writer will scribble a word or bits of thought on a scrap of a paper, a napkin, or a receipt, ideas that may develop into an essay, a poem. Similarly, a doodle may be the seed of something else, lead to new directions, highlight concerns, or exist on its own. Here, my doodle detail reminds me again of a love of pattern, and oh Yeah! a reoccurring artistic preoccupation with all things bird, wings, and flight.

Doodle On!

Happy Holiday Season

December 11, 2012 at 10:08 am | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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Winter Wishes 2012 by Joan Desmond

©2012, Joan Desmond, Winter Wishes.

Xmas Holiday 2011

December 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Art Studio | 1 Comment
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To all from Joan

Christmas Or Whatever You Want To Call It

December 22, 2009 at 12:22 am | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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xmas-2009

Arvin Green Arts Festival

May 16, 2009 at 9:47 am | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio | Leave a comment
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desmond-recycling

Recycling…considering the process

An 18″ x 20″ collage created from recycled paperboard which is part of the Arvin Green Arts Festival Juried Show in Arvin, California,  May 16-17, 2009.

Wishes For A Peaceful Season

December 25, 2008 at 11:10 am | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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My card design for this year.

Opposites Attract

May 16, 2008 at 9:04 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | Leave a comment
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Mandarin Fox

For several months this past winter two gray foxes visited in the evening. One has lived alone around here for years, and at some point completely lost his tail. He’s a strange sight, like discovering a new animal species. The new fox is smaller and sports a long, lush tail. I’m hoping it’s a vixen.

As the design work on the collages continued, a thin story thread dangled in front of me. The collages became more symmetrical in design and more symbolic. Masks are symbolic. Look at the symbol and there is often another level of masking underneath. The collage animals all represent certain character traits but there’s also a color-wheel relationship between the bull & the fox.

From The Studio: The Stranger Than Fiction Mask Image Collage Series

April 8, 2008 at 11:01 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | 1 Comment
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My What Big Teeth You Have-The Lion

I’ve often created collages as mock-ups for paintings. It’s a step beyond doing a thumbnail sketch as prep for a painting. It’s a quick way to consider colors, placement and overall design, particularly for more representational work.

These particular collages did not begin as considerations for paintings; rather they were created for the Tenth International Collage Exhibit & Exchange. While working on the first few, the idea of a series developed. This was the image that led it off.

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