Paper Collage is fun, like playing with Colorforms™, but can be tedious at times, like removing a splinter from your finger with a precise pair of tweezers. For me, it is easier to play around with the different shapes and colors when designing a picture; I may or may not start off with a rough sketch. I grab different greens and blues for the land and sky, to see which ones punch, have vibrancy together. If the mood is quiet or solemn, I still want the colors to electrify: quiet and solemn are different than dull and boring.
My first big cut paper work was done in high school. It was my interpretation of an Indian tribe out West. The pieces are tiny and it has faded but it is similar to what I still do. At college, we had to bring in a sketch for a painting. I struggled. Then I pulled out some paper and made my plans with a paper collage. During a group show, a fellow art student remarked that she found my cut-paper pieces more interesting than my paintings. This came as good news because it saved me a step in the process of completion.
Sometimes pictures can take less than 48 hours from start to finish, other times they are years in the making. They get altered over time; something just isn’t right with the picture and it’s put in storage. The Ski Hill is an example of that: it used to just be a hill and a barn. Colors were good but the picture lacked depth and character.
In 1989, marriage came and then children. Children are major distractions, wonderful ones. During their early years (I have three children who are all artists), I would draw late at night while they were sleeping to keep up my artistic skills.
For good or bad, some of my best works were done during times of grief. After my grandmother’s death in 1989 I focused on my first professional portfolio. In 2012, my mother died. Kearsarge at Night was created. The Snow Angel Santa on the reindeer card was added and Pray Before the Journey came into being. A good friend moved away in that year also and, in February, 2014, Missing You was completed. It shows a New England scene reminiscent of where we would take our walks. Laundry Day was also completed It is a scene wishful for warmer days and is based on my grandmother’s laundry line in Chester, Vermont. The clothes line was fascinating; it was refreshing to press your face against the wet laundry on a hot summer day.
P.O. Box 202
Elkins, New Hampshire 03233
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See Also: Cut Paper Art by Rosemary McGuirk