bts...Behind the Scenes

Collage Backgrounds

Starting Collages! My husband and I are in Palm Springs for some rest and relaxation, and I'm starting some new artwork along the way.

I'm painting sheets of maps and pages from vintage children's textbooks, and will use them as backgrounds for new pieces I'll be showing for open studios in November.

I select the maps and illustrations based on color, and then wash them with different shades of paint. Parts of the images show through, and others become obscured. I don't have total control over what shows through, but I love that there are semi-hidden images throughout. After the sheets dry, I cut them into geometric shapes and arrange them to create the illusion of 3-D forms.

We used paper maps before GPS and google. Years ago, every time we'd visit a new place, I bought a paper map to get my bearings, so I have a large supply! They are now obsolete, so I am giving them new life as art.

The children's textbooks I am using are vintage 1959 and 1963. They are filled with fun illustrations, and have a naive innocence about them, with classroom science experiments, and instructions on how to conduct one's self. One of them is a teacher's version of a book I had as teenager, so it is nostalgic for me to see it again. Back then, I cut up the student's version of the book to create a collaged magazine, "The Transvestite's Tribune," among other things. I knew I was gay and used satire to help myself deal with it.

When the backgrounds are complete, you'll be able to see bits and pieces of the map images and illustrations underneath. I'll paint my robots on top, and I'm planning to frame them with vintage science-lab drawers.

I don't know what the final results will be, and it's all an experiment at this point, but it feels good to be "doing!"