Sunshine breaks through my studio window and the lids of my cans of fluorescent spray paint glow brightly. I have missed my spray paints during the chilly winter, but they are not much fun to use when the wind and rain rule the world. And I’m not allowed to use them in the house, I have tried. It didn’t go over well with the other living creatures that share this space. Sigh.
But now! It is finally warm enough to stand outside for more than ten minutes, and I am eager to be laying out backgrounds for collages. These collected images don’t have a specific narrative, they depend upon the serendipitous presence of various cut-outs or photos or bits and pieces of textured paper that randomly accumulate on my desk. I used to try to force proper relationships between items, but I found I was always drawn back to the accidental, almost dream-like compositions that I would “discover” amongst the disarray on my table. In my journal, I can just play.
I have no specific plan for the backgrounds, so I am free to respond to pure colour and shape. The cut-outs have been saved from various projects – even some from 20 years ago. This is a time when I am glad for my pack rat tendencies.
I do pages and pages, in various journals that I have on the go. I just keep shifting and moving, going with the flow of the drying paint. I’ll be coming back to these pages for some months, it is a good long session.
Later, with glue and scissors in hand, I choose a page or two. Beside me I have piles of clipped images, the quiet work of winter evenings. My mind is open to any poetic possibility – I just casually select images, and move and paste when I think it is right.
In my journal, I don’t have to explain why a deer stamp, a geranium and two Renaissance images go together…
they just do,
and perfectly too.