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thoughts on collage

over the past year or so, i've been more in tune with shifts going on in my work. this, along with some recent emailings back and forth with eva lake and reading her diary (specifically the 'who we are' post from july 11th) inspired me to narrow down some of my own perceptions on collage and my purpose as an artist. by focusing and immersing myself in this purist form of collage (paper to surface contact) i've realized both why i like this medium so much and why i like certain aspects of art objects in general. it's helped me to wake up..to finally translate some of the imagery that's been dancing around in my head. although i've been influenced by many, for the first time in my career, i'm hearing less static when my inner voice speaks. i'm not sure if this is due to maturity, diligence, or the divine. making art can be both meditative and medicative. it serves many purposes to many people, but it's one of the few occupations that can't be easily quantified or even justified. i sometimes wonder if i could've abandoned my art if i truly knew another way of life..if i were forced to make a 9-5 living. but, luckily i've never had to answer that question, thanks to all the support i've garnered, both financially and emotionally, through the years. it's not easy living with an artist, i'm sure chuckie can attest to that. we're not the types to punch clocks, so we're always working, if only in thought. our eyes are always open, our ears always listening...we're constantly drinking up the world around us, processing it and filtering it back out. it can be an exhausting yet invigorating life, the life of an artist...painful at times, but mostly rich with surprises and filled with an endless supply of hope.

baby smith
'heap no. 78' (fat of the land series)
mixed media and found objects on altered book cover

collage, for me, has been largely a conduit...a means to learn more about myself and the world around me. the immediacy of putting paper to surface has been endlessly gratifying. by working this way, in my experience, pieces tend to get less overworked, expressing more of a childlike innocence..like the right brain is speaking before the left brain wakes up. this process lends itself to my impatient mentality, but also carries a certain complexity that engages me to look further into the marks, smears and tears.

this medium is also very tactile. very seldom does an instrument or tool come between me and the art thing. i often smooth the glue out with my hands, leaving fingerprints and imperfections. revealing the human touch has always been much more interesting to me than trying to replicate a sterile machine made object.

i've also noticed something happening while i'm both making and viewing my collages. and this might be something all collagists feel at some point...but, i feel like i'm painting with paper. it's a strange and euphoric feeling when art takes you to places you never knew existed. i've never really considered myself a painter, but if i were, i'd want my paintings to come out looking like the collage above. the paper, depending on its thickness, age and texture can often take on painterly qualities, almost like impasto brush strokes that swoop and move across the surface.

i'm getting excited just thinking about it.
thank the gourd above i don't have to punch a clock..


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
what a beautiful post.

Aug. 1st, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
aaaaw meeeeyan. you're way too good to me.. ;D
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 1st, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
can i have a high 5!?!?!?
let us join our matte medium hands togethuh now!!!

Aug. 2nd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
this is a wonderful post describing (part of) the artist's process. i enjoyed reading. muchly.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
i don't do it often, but should....
you know....you're only encouraging me?!?!?!?!
Aug. 2nd, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
that's what your audience is supposed to do!
Aug. 2nd, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
thoughts on collage
sometimes i have a difficult time talking about my work. you do it so well here.

Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
Re: thoughts on collage
seeeeeee...that's the thing.
your art doesn't NEEEEEEEEED words...so, you're all good bra. you're an art star...i declare thee!!!!
but, it doesn't hurt to have a story to tell, yah?....for the folk who don't get the whole artsy farts thing?!?!?!

Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
Don't punch a clock, use a hammer
I love your descripion of the process here. The tactile aspect is so important to me, too. Digital/ computer art is truly art, but I know I would not enjoy trying to create a work of art using a keyboard and mouse. And, seeing the physical layers of materials and a surface that is not perfectly smooth is amoung the best parts.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Re: Don't punch a clock, use a hammer
mmmmmm. art...
touchy feely goodness.
i like things that aren't perfect...cuz, perfect=booooooooooring.

Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Don't punch a clock, use a hammer
I just started digital stuff in the past 6 weeks, and with a computer. actually had the I'mnakedinlovemakingmakingmakingvisionswhirlingaroundme experience. In a computer graphics lab with 24 Macs clicking away. Yes, it is the process. And although I'm Ms. Gestural, I got that with a freakin' mouse!
It's the art, the creation that is transcendant.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
I am so glad making has been wonderful for you lately... and that you could always make

"art is why i get up in the morning
but my definition ends there
and it doesn't seem fair
that i'm living for something i can't even define"
-ani difranco

I remeber hearing that line when I was in 7th grade and thinking boy is that the truth

I m currently in Chicago painting... trying to play with the big kids... some don't buy that you can paint with more then just paint... how can they be the "big kids" if they don't understand that painting is the gesture and not the material?

I pray to gourd I never have to punch a clock for a living
Aug. 2nd, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
it's official....

i wanna be YOU when i grow up.

and while you're there....puh-Leeeze take in the pleasures of deep dish, won't you?!?!?!?!
Aug. 2nd, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
deep dish done!

haha and you don't wanna be me when I grow up unless you fancy living in boxes and collecting change
Aug. 2nd, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC)
whoops didn't do the loggy thing
Aug. 2nd, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
well, i already collect change, so i'm halfway there.. ;D s'long as your box house keeps you warm and you hang a few rachel works...that's all one really needs, right? (minus the drive-bys, of course) ;D
Aug. 2nd, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
wow- i just took a swim inside your head! and it was good.
i love your collage here
'heap no. 78' (fat of the land series) is my new favorite!! It has a dada-esqueness to it!


you keep making new kimi-favorites! how do you keep doing that?!?!

makes me sad... i get to see your latest and greatest stuff but i can't show you my latest and hopefully good enough tap stuff. i HAVE to get a dvd with all my dances on it so i can send you a copy to see. i'd love to show you what i've been up to and get your thoughts on it. on them. you are always so astute in your tap observations. you're brilliant, baby!

Aug. 2nd, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
get outta the deep end....quick...BEFORE YOU DROOOOOOWN!!!!!!!!!

and i miss my kimmy's feet...they're like music on ground..
Aug. 3rd, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
heidi the dog
she acts like she's on crack when we go for our walks. her little tiny legs go so fast! and she nearly strangles herself from pulling on her leash and collar. she practically pulls me along, and she only weighs, like, 15 pounds! you'd think she was an alaskan husky! and the barking and yanking every time a squirrel, bunny, or truck or car or person of any sort goes by!

tiny crack head dog.

she leaves tomorrow around 3 or 4.

she is such a snuggle-buddy though... i will miss her loving puppy dog ways... but not the FOUR walks a day. after every walk, no matter how long or how short, she pants and heaves like she's going to have a heart attack. i do NOT need a canine coronary on my hands.

she's wearing me out.

tiny crack head dog.

Aug. 3rd, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: heidi the dog
do you remember we had at least threeeeeeee crack head schnauzer dogs at any given time in our household????? you should've seen the grooves in our window sills. hyper little psychos, they were....but, loved 'em just the same. yup....mom and dad even entered ami into a few competitions...but, i don't think he was the competitive type....drooler, yes....if there's a trophy for that sorta sport?!?!
Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: heidi the dog


Quick! Somebody get me a guhn! I gotta get myself outta dis misery!

were they all minis?

Aug. 3rd, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
Re: heidi the dog

all minis...but, you wouldn't know it by their maxi yips!!! scrappy little dogs, i'm sure you'll agree. during my childhood we had macgregor (mac), hildi, ami and ziggy. had to give zig away during the divorce..he was the funnest of them all! :p
Aug. 11th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
stumbled over from "collages"
beautiful, beautiful post ~
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )