I must admit I like things that are dramatic… things that make a strong statement. I like contrast too, like soft and hard, leather and lace, hot and cold, dark and light. I also really enjoy exploration and change ( read I get easily bored).
Since I have been exclusively working in mixed-media collage I have reused my old paintings by tearing them up and making them something entirely different and new. That was the first step in my mixed media evolution.
Then I transitioned into using fabrics and had a successful solo show called Material Girls. Each collage had a reference to a female in a fabric setting. I loved combining the beautiful fabrics and textures in surprising ways. And now I have had the most amazing journey using metals and metallics for my upcoming solo show METALLICA, June 8th, 5 to 8 pm at Gilbert Chapel Galley, St. Petersburg, FL.
The first thing I did was raid my husband’s toolbox for nails, washers, screws, door handles, and anything metal. I also asked a friend to donate metal stuff from his garage. Using these elements was entirely new to me and so exciting! I’m somewhat of a “girly-girl” so using hardware was a hoot.
The first piece I did for this collection was “The Belt.” I bounced the softness of the background and her flowing skirt, against the hard, gold metal belt made of washers. Then I spotted some chains I wanted to use. Chains are symbolic for so many things.
In my work “Mother and Son”, they represent breaking the heavy chains of despair. I made this piece after a friend’s son had tragically died. I found that working with hard materials like chains does not preclude making the art graceful.
Another interesting item I used for the Metallica show was part of a belt from Chico’s ( clothing store). The square became a window behind the woman in the collage. I foraged everywhere for art materials. Nothing in our condo was safe.
Probably my favorite piece in this exhibition is “Escada Princess”. Back in the day, the Escada fashion line was known for very intricate beading work. I had an old pair of Escada jeans that had beading down the sides of the legs that was absolutely breathtaking. While I couldn’t wear them anymore I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. I could see that several women had given weeks of their lives to hand embroider those jeans. So I cut up my jeans and “Escada Princess” was born.
Art is the ultimate satisfying adventure. I would encourage you to cast a fresh eye on all the everyday materials around you that can make your art memorable.