Thursday, January 14, 2016

Inspiration Collages Swap

I´ve been thrilled to see that my friend Lenna has announced one of her wonderful art swaps in December, and I immediately signed up for her "Inspiration Collage" swap. When I returned home after Christmas, I found her package in my mailbox, and the photo above shows what it contained: three 5 x 5 pieces of watercolour paper, instructions for the swap and a bag full of papers, snippets, and embellishments. The rules said that we have to use at least one piece from the bag for each of our three collages.

Soooo - how to go on from here? What would you do? 
Here´s my process: I made three piles, sorted by colours, and ended with one in browns and reds, one in blues and greens, and one that was multicolored in a very modern, slightly Asian way. 
I must confess that I wasn´t very inspired at that moment; I just had no idea how to go on.
I realized that the reason for that was a lack of focal points: there weren´t many images in my piles but lots of papers and ephemera. So my next idea was to search for prompts in the book pages and other text snippets ... and as always, WORDS have been my way to success!

On my first collage named "Play", the Play ticket was my starting point that led me to the lines from a book page; both went well with three papers from the bag. I decided to go with the theme of childhood memories and added a paper scrap and tapes that I´ve had on my desk to hold the other papers visually together, then balanced the colours with red accents in one of the tapes, the postage stamps from the goodie bag, and a stamped boy that I already had in my leftover box and whom I coloured in red. That´s where the story came together: memories of someone who was once confused when he was a boy because he had to make decisions between playing (I added a crown to strengthen the fun factor) and joy (written with a stencil) versus limitations given by parents and others (represented by the "not to be taken" scrap and the large black X). The boy has to listen and learn a lot during his childhood, so I added the journal stamp and added stenciled exclamation and question marks to illustrate his confusion.

For my second collage, I just followed the verses I´ve found in the bag: The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth. I collaged my background including the sheet music vellum from the bag, illustrating the birds´ song, added a golden sun from my stash and two birds and a nest with an egg (that I´ve just had on my desk from my latest collages with Tumble Fish Studio stuff). Two of the papers (and the top strip) have been added by me, but two papers, the verses and the angel came from Lenna´s bag.

The third collage was the most difficult one for me as the colours weren´t my favourites ... For a focal point, I started by cutting a "body" from the floral paper from the bag and added a head and a hat that I´ve had on my desk as leftovers from my Tumble Fish collages. I used two other papers from Lenna´s bag for the background and added tapes to hold them together. My little lady looked quite funny, so I went with three lines from a book page found in Lenna´s bag: "Would of my shy advances say: `It´s really quite absurd, you see; He´s very much too young for me.´" I wanted a lady that ignores all rules and just follows her heart, illustrated by her look following the strip torn from the heart paper I´ve found in the bag. I cut one of the hearts to let it beat in her breast. I added two journaling stamps and a tea bag paper from Lenna´s bag to show her process of decision and finally added her decision at the bottom, a stamped "so what?". A purple postage stamp from the bag for colour balance and stamped postal cancellations finished the piece.

That´s it - I´ve been satisfied to see that each of my three collages told a story in the end, because that´s what´s important for me. And now I´m looking forward to the other participants´ results on the Creative Swaps site and my swap returns of course!


Lenna Young Andrews said...

Oh Marion, your details on how you created these is precious to me. I love to read about how others navigate through that process. You did so well! You took what inspired, which was what I wanted - found a theme that inspired you, added your own things too (just what I wanted) and moved through the process beautifully creating wonderful collages with meaning -wow! :o)) so happy you dove into this quick little swap, thanks!

JeanFB said...

Oh my gosh, these are brilliant! I am in awe that you came up with these wonderful ideas and artful collages from the original bag of scraps. Love it!

Lillibelle said...

I´m so surprise about your great, fantastic collages. Brilliant!
Greetings from Gabi