Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building Four Simultaneous Collages' Backgrounds...

Yeah, I've decided to add a bit more drama and creative uncertainty to my life by challenging myself to work on a 4-in-1 collage, four 9x9 canvases that will become ONE collage. I've been approaching and retreating this tempting 4-Canvas Pack for weeks now and last Thursday I couldn't resist any longer. I walked into the store with an intention to purchase a long canvas as I had couple image ideas in mind that would be a good match for that particular shape and size of support.... yet somehow, after much walking around, visualizing, retreating from the all too scary project idea, I regrouped and answered the call.

Much to my surprise I deeply enjoy the process and, as there's no ready-made recipe for such project, I've been tearing and gluing one tiny piece of paper next to, or over, one another. In the meantime I had to get yet another jar of acrylic gel to finish my first layer of the background and I also realized that the gallery profile canvas that's 2 and 3/8'' deep requires additional support. As of this writing first application of Golden GAC 400 is drying and awaiting one more layer so, as this composition is continue to evolve, I can maneuver my palette knife with abandon knowing that I won't puncture the canvas.

I am finding myself in a new and unknown territory while creating this collage, which carries withing itself four separate canvases, that could stand on their own by themselves. Here's the beauty and mystery that I'm trying to embrace, a holographic model of design.... One is All and All is One. I have no idea where this composition is going, just like everything that I create ~ be it cooking, writing, artmaking, or teaching. Yet every time I push myself to embark onto 'a-never-before-done-by-me' journey the old uncertainties come back to remind me that in order to go on I must remember that I truly have no clue what will happen and how the finish artwork will look like. So, I remind myself right now, by writing these words, what Socrates said millenniums ago, I know that I don't know, and that's 'enough' to stay committed to the process. What's more, I'm deeply grateful and at awe over what's evolving right in front of my very eyes.... it is not a small blessing to me as, not so long ago, my art making was marked by a 'stop-and-go' approach-avoidance pattern. Oftentimes it would be long weeks and sometimes months of creative drought as I struggled to know 'what' and 'how' before I could even approach my work table. Once in 'the creative mode,' the entire process was reminding me of handling a hot potato, tossing it aside, embracing it for a short moment, before leaving it to its own devices again.... but most importantly, I'd need to KNOW how the finished artwork would look like, would it be 'good enough' before I'd commit myself to the process that ended it up in chaos and disappointment.

So, tonight I feel grateful and at peace in, what may sound like an oxymoron, 'creative unknowing,' in fact I find strength and enthusiasm to wake up tomorrow and greet my artwork only intention is to stay out of the way and allow whatever is coming forth to be born.

Below you'll see few snapshots I took along the way...

One by one photos of four backgrounds:


  1. I love this place of creative unknowing that you are in, staying so enraptured in the process where fear does not linger. When you first mentioned 4 collages in one, I was thinking you'd be gluing each canvas one on top of the other, with some pieces peeking through, very 3D'ish. I like you pushing yourself to new heights here. Do you have a theme in mind?Do you move from one piece to the next within the same time span? You really inspire me to at least try ONE collage.

  2. My initial inspiration for creating this piec came from Uta's two collages. It's been a while since I worked on a collage and I wanted to start out with a magazine-catalog backgrounds first ~ colorful, glossy imagery, and work from there. So, in a way, my theme is originating from those elements, but I have a feeling that it may eventually depart from this primary imagery.... I'll wait and see.
    I've been working with all four canvases at the same time, chosing elements and attaching them to a particular collage, yet having few color-image repetitions in all four pieces for cohesion and unity. I'd love to see your collage, Bev! Have some fun!
    Creative Blessings,

  3. Enjoy seeing your step by step again, Tatiana. Love the little series here. I sure enjoy using magazine pages too. ...April p.s. see below - I love your wine bottle.