Category Archives: Collage

Work in Progress, and a 4th Birthday Collage


I’ve been working on a painting for the last couple of months or so.  I can’t seem to finish it because I don’t know where its going.

It’s called Pearl’s Mother and below is a detail from the painting.  The medium is oils.

Below is the original sketch I did in August, on a piece of notebook paper.

On another note, my grandson celebrated his 4th birthday on the 13th of this month.  I made him a collage to celebrate Number 4, and his love of race cars.  His new bedroom decor will now be all about race cars, including his bed!  I thought this little collage would be fun to hang in his room!

I did this using a a cradled wood mixed-media art board.  My youngest daughter, the graphic design artist, helped me make the paper for the backgroud using photo shop and some stock photos from the internet.  I had a little collection of various vintage wheels,tires, and other trinkets, and I recently purchased the little racing cars from ebay just for this collage.  They are about one and a fourth inches long and made of tin, their graphics are lithographed. The green car is #4, and doesn’t show well in this photo.I covered a match box with a paper print of an old stopwatch and the number four (about 2 inches long)I’ve had for ages – just proves that artist’s eventually do find a use for all their little collected bits and pieces!  The entire size is 11 x 14 inches.

  On the back I put a cutout of the Beatle’s and a verse from “All Together Now.”



“Thread”  Mixed Media. Oil.  Tea bag and found object collage on Pannelli Telati panel – 8 x 10 inches.   I have been intrigued by the classes Roxanne Evans Stout from teaching called, “The Thread That Weaves.”  I think her ideas became  the inspiration behind this little painting, so I just called it “Thread.”  If you take a moment and view her website to read about the classes she has created using found materials to make beautiful little artist books you will probably surely get inspired too!

I painted the figure some time ago on a large manilla tag (7.5 x 3.5 inches), knowing I would use it for  collage eventually.  I glued the tag to the panelli panel, and then began adding other papers.  I added the very fine copper wire from some kind of electronic component I found.  The wire was so fine I had to twist several threads of it together for visibility.  The leaf is one I saved from last fall – I always save a few and dry them in my big Shakespeare book so I know where to find them when I need them!  The hand comes from a sheet of handmade paper stamped with them, which I purchased from some flea market or other.  I’ve used them several times and will miss them when they are used up!

detail of face

“Fairlight and Caledonia”


“Fairlight and Caledonia”  Acrylic, collage on canvas 24×36 inches

I’ve been working on this painting for the last couple of months.  I had a very difficult time trying to photograph this painting – so what you see is either over exposed or underexposed.

The camera seemed confused by the brown tones.


I tried to make it look like a sepia tint photograph – but I had some trouble with the skin tones.  Every time I tried to gray them or sepia them, they ended up looking like they had dirty faces – which may have added some authenticity, but it just didn’t look right in the painting.  I’m sharing several details of the subject matter because of the difficulty in getting a good photograph of the painting.  Also I thought it might be fun to see the very beginning of the painting and how it evolved.


This is the first sketch after I glued some pieces of paper to the canvas.

 This canvas was very rough – I really didn’t like it but it was all I had and I wanted to begin the painting.  I bought this canvas at “Cheap Joes” online.  It was a good price, and if you like that rough texture it would be fine.  I had some trouble getting the skin tones because of the pieces of paper I collaged, and the roughness of the canvas, all in the same face.  The photo above shows the canvas after a few coats of gesso.

Laying out the underpainting with gouache.  You can see some of the papers I used for collage.  I think most of them were completely covered with paint.  There is a mocking bird between the two girls at the top of the painting, an old book page on the left top, and some kind of railroad ticket at the hemline of the girl on the right.

Painting hands is really hard for me – no matter how much I practice I really never get it quite right.

“Fairlight and Caledonia”  Two little mountain girls c 1890 – 1900

Art Journal pages 2012


I’ve been trying to be less controlled in my journal pages; more experimental, messy, more spontaneous.  I’ve been working on a larger painting, but its taking a long time to finish so I thought I would share a few of my 2012 Art Journal “Oblique Motion.”  In this journal I seem to want to draw a line through the page.  I was calling them horizon lines – but whose?  Mine or the subjects?

I drew this in the dark with an old blue(which I thought was black) Flair pen then used water on a brush (with the light on) to “paint” the lines in.

This is how I finished it with oil pastel, gouache, and some collage.  I thought I would use more lines this time, not just one.  I liked letting it drip across the page.

I did the same thing with this one, but I didn’t take a picture of the original blue flair pen lines and water.

This is the back of the above page that bled through.  I kind of like the look of it.

PS:  One thing I learned while working on my art journal this year – You can’t iron the pages to smooth out wrinkles if you used acrylic paint on them.  The image comes off on the paper I used over it and then applied the iron to. Lost a couple of very nice images.

Oblique Motion 1


“Oblique Motion 1”  Acrylic, collage, on canvas 18×36 inches

I’ve been working on this painting for the last month and a half-   I’m calling it finished because I am tired of thinking about it.

Detail – you can see the collage of papers I put down before I started to paint.  I used sandpaper to bring out the edges.

This is my favorite part of the whole painting – I like the soft look in her eye.

I like the background above her head in this detail, which I realize now doesn’t show in this shot – but it does in the full painting.  That piece of music on the right edge is written for four voices – music where one voice sings differently (music majors) sorry if I’ve over simplified, anyway – Oblique Motion is the musical term for this.

A Box for the BOOK


I decided to make a box for the little book, The Tally Keeper’s Folly.  I had a very old wooden cigar box that was just the right size.  Some one had painted it black and scratched their name on the top – Bertha Wright.  Sorry Bertha, I had to cover up your name!  I painted the box with acrylics several times before I decided on the dark red for the top.  I’m going to finish up the edges with some antique gold acrylic – just haven’t done it yet.  I used the cover of a very tattered book I had for the cover of the box.  I really liked the front graphics – and they already had just the right amount of wear on them.  I had a large sheet of paste paper I’d made years ago, and decided to use that to glue a title over the books original title which was The Peep of Day, which is pretty neat, but it wouldn’t work for this!

On the sides of the box I used strips of the paste paper to put a line from the verse which is on the back of the book.

I sanded the letters a little so they didn’t look so harsh.  I ran the paste paper through the printer cut to 8.5×11 size, and then printer the lines spaced apart so I could cut them out.  The cigar box is about 6×8 inches.

I used the paste paper to cover the inside lid and came up with another verse for it.  I lined the inside of the box with antique silk sari ribbons that I ironed flat and tacked together over a piece of cardboard.  I also used a scrap of sari ribbon on the front of the book.

The little book fits perfectly inside!  Now a few touches of gold here and there and I send it off to the Illahe Gallery in Ashland, Oregon for their April 6-28 show of Artist’s Books.