Friday, June 5, 2009

A Simple Act

The school year is ending and we are busy making great collages right to the end. Other classes are painting so of course all sorts of paint is left over. At day's end I can easily spend an extra hour in the studio just mixing and spreading paint onto papers....and it is a completely pleasing process. The point is just to use the colour and mix every conceivable variety and viscosity of paint from fully opaque to very transparent. When all the final work is done in the school studio before dismissing for holidays, I will look through this left over collection and find the most appealing things to incorporate into my summer collage paintings at home. It is odd but sometimes the colours produced at school end up being very different from the ones made at home. It'll be hard keeping the boxes and boxes of colour over summer and into the new academic year because the studio fills up with so much material. It has to go just so we can fill it up again.....but the colours always look wonderful to me. One day there might have been a lot of leftover purples, another day blues....and unpremeditated collections get many unexpected combinations many great paintings just quietly hiding in the tangle of paper.


  1. What an inspiring post! Most of us are overwhelmed by just our own stratified layers of stuff that's not worth keeping but way too good to throw away. Maybe we should ask ourselves -- What would Harry Stooshinoff do with this?

  2. That long table with all the colours there does look very inspiring!
    My question from one artist to another is about archival paper. I'm assuming the school paper is not archival, so how do you handle that dilemma as an artist when incorporating the paper into your 'summer paintings'?
    I really enjoy the freshness of your work and how well it evokes the surroundings of the area.

  3. Charlene...thanks, but boy, it does take an effort saving some of this stuff. You turn one of those boxes loaded with paper over, and it can look seriously crazy, not to mention a nightmare to put into some sort of order, but the contrast of colour, texture, and materials can be very inspiring. While the kids are working, I'm finding all sorts of weird combinations I'd love to use later.

    greenwillow....thanks!....the acrylics we use at school are artist's quality but we also use house colours and there is no telling what the ratio of one to the other will be at any particular point. While the house colours are not as lightfast as artists colours, they are not too bad and pretty stable visually. The papers are just photocopy paper....needs to be thin to glue down to heavier stock. But when I prepare my papers at home I use only archival heavy paper as the support and heavier card is usually gessoed both sides. The glue is archival. A few small kinks in the chain but I expect the image to be visually and structurally stable for a good long time.