Thursday, September 27, 2012

collage class - the first few weeks

Collage class started up again at Art Center. It was an interesting decision for me to try and figure out if I could go take the class without Franklyn as my teacher this time around. His passing left a major hole. It was especially noticable the first class. But Mary, who is also an amazing (and much less moody) Art Center professor - has been good for me.
She has each of us working on numerous small projects - one each week - which will end up quilt-like by the end of class. The funny thing for me is that I have years' (I'm not exaggerating when I say at least a decade's) worth of collected and half prepared materials for collages. Before I ever took collage out here in Los Angeles, I had a couple of amazing years of classes in Chicago as a student at the Art Institute continuing education program. I was even in a collage guild there.  I was in a certificate program, with an advisor and everything, and then had a baby and fell off the educational wagon for a few years- though my art never disappeared. Nor my love for collage.

Anyhow - all that comes together with my personality and makes my putting work together a really speedy process. In a way, it seems speedy - because I often leave class with 2-3 wet, finished pieces each night. I was feeling guilty about that for a while, but then I had a few thoughts... 1- my quilts, especially the hand quilted ones - take MONTHS to finish. Many of them take over 40 hours of work. So it's not that I am afraid of working hard or involved hours. And I'm an impulsive person - this is the good side of that! and 2 - the materials I have been using lately have been years in the making - I have about 100lbs of supplies that I bring to each class - many of them are treated materials, that I work on, put a layer of paint into - sew something onto - and then shove it back into the "file" to be used at a later date. Which means that it's not actually only 20 minutes to put together the piece - it's hours of work, paint drying, etc - just spread out over months.
So I'm feeling less guilty about that. Franklyn never liked how quickly I could work - but Mary doesn't frown on it. I've been told by many of my art teachers that I am PROLIFIC. I think sometimes that is meant well and sometimes it's looked down on as an artist. And I know that to be true for me from my very first foray into art. I never make one of something - I always make at least 5. I need that for my brain to settle.

I've recently come to understand that I am most definitely ADD. And not in the "can't focus" way - but in the "hyper-focus" way. And that's just the way I am. It explains why I can't ever sit still, why I am easily distracted, why i have to have something to do with my hands even when I am watching tv and why I do a billion things at once. I'm okay with that.

All that to say, here are some pics of the works I have recently done in the first few weeks of class. By now you know that I am in love with the red and brown color families - words, signs and quotes, silhouettes, books, my kids' artwork, my husband, travel, iphone photography, my children, scraps of old textiles and wallpaper, poetry, and trees. So there are some basic themes that continue to surface. I like to think, though, that each one of these is different enough. Some of them are explorations into my grief of the past year. Some of them are me being thankful for what I have - a healthy family, a new beautiful home in an amazing neighborhood, a marriage that is epically wonderful. I hope you can see that all coming through as well.


"to be choked with tears"

"I'm remembering"
"it was all there"
"i wanted to be alone with you"

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