I started my collages today for the Arrowmont Resident Artist Reunion. It took more than a week and a half to filter through and download all the pictures I thought were good enough to pull information from. All of my collages are put together in the computer using Photoshop. Since I’m just trying to achieve a composition, I’m not worried too much about edge detail, so forgive the roughness of the collage image. Here is the most successful one for the day.
Mrs. Profitt, Me as a child, Mrs. Reagan (Aunt Lizzie)
I made the above collage using the following photos:
Gatlinburg's first health clinic. Also, where I lived when I was a resident artist at Arrowmont in 1994-95.
Mrs. Profitt was the housekeeper for the Boy's Dorm (left) Mrs. Reagan (also know as Aunt Lizzie) was the Housekeeper of Teacher's Dorm and also an accomplished weaver.
Aunt Lizzie spinning yarn most likely for her weaving.
Me as a child.
I’ve decided to imagine my own history by bring photos of me into the collage. I’m not trying to rewrite to forget. I have very fond memories. I’m only trying to connect to a history that intrigues me, the past of my family. Sewing myself into my family’s memories makes me feel closer to them and connects me further.
Can you hear my enthusiasm? Well, I’m only dreading the new quarter, because I’m at the tail end of a 2 and a half week vacation. I spent most of my time thinking about everything EXCEPT my art. I’ve enjoyed this much needed break from work and school tremendously. I’ve been doing everything from cleaning out my attic to crawling under my house to spray Good Stuff foam to keep the stray cats from ruining the HVAC duct work insulation. I tweaked my back with all the stooping and crawling, so today I decided to give my body a break and start thinking about my artwork again. I spent the morning experimenting with Masa Wax paper. Below is my first attempt to use it in a collage. I’m trying to rely less on the photograph and put more of my hand in the process. Comments are welcome.
After a highly needed restful Saturday, I went to the studio all day Sunday. I seemed to kick my lethargic Saturday mood to the way side. (I think I was fighting a cold.) Today I have more energy, and I had a good studio day. I started by organizing my stack of xeroxed photos into stacks. I put aside the ones I related to in some way today and picked out these.
Today, I worked from these photos only. I played with compositions and came up with the following collages using fabric:
I haven’t given these collages names yet. This composition came to me intuitively. I didn’t expect to make a collage today about war. War is always going on. It could be a personal war, or a religious war. It make no difference. It is always people who don’t accept people for who they are; forever trying to change people to see the same way. (How boring, really!) Diversity is good in my world.
What do you think is going on in this one? I would love to hear what you think.
Today at the studio was a little frustrating, but I was able to switch gears and adjust my tasks to my mood. I think I’m going to change my mental day off to Saturday and spend Sunday in the studio instead from now on. I wasn’t able to do that this week because my boyfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. So, probably from here on out, I will be posting Sunday evenings.
When I got to the studio, I pulled out all of my xeroxed photos and played around with some compositions with the fabrics. I was completely uninspired, so I decided that my time would best be spent reading the book that I got from the library, Suspended Conversations by Martha Landford. It is a wonderful book about the history of and analysis of the family photo album. The examples she uses are from the same time period that my family photos are from. I’ve only just started it, but here is the inspiration and food for thought that I’ve grabbed out of it so far:
- People typically took photos of events such as births, weddings, new cars, family reunions, and funerals.
- Personal photo albums are anthologies, adventures, meditations, and shrines.
- The photo album is personal, and to see it is to have an invitation to view it, and is usually accompanied by stories. (concept of togetherness)
- Photographs with the same style border could suggest a few things: same event, same person taking the photo (camera), or developed at the same time.
- pg. 18 “The removal of an album from a private situation to the public sphere does not deprive it of a context, but substitutes one set of viewing conditions for another.”
- pg. 19 “In the afterlife of a photographic album, pure past is a mirage, a set of conditions seemingly visible yet irrecoverable even in the imagination. The world as experienced has been transformed by each act of translation (visible world to photograph; photograph to album; private album to public realm; public realm to individual reception).
- The organization of an album reflects the working of the mind of its creator.
On that note, I will end this post with some visuals of some recent daily task photos.
After spending some time analyzing my daily collages, I decided to experiment some more with some fabric collages. I’m still getting used to working with fabrics in a collage way. I approach my daily collages and my fabric collages a little differently. My dailies are very random, and I’m still picking 2 random photos to use together to make the collage. With the fabric collages, I think more about which images to use and which fabrics to use. This is what I came up with today:
“The Grass is Greener on the Other Side”
I would love to hear comments.
After having a pretty busy week at work, I decided to take Saturday off instead of my usual Sunday to clear my head and rest my body. I’m really glad I did, as I feel energetic and more focused today.
I continue to wonder what I am doing in the studio, so today, I start off with some more analyzing. I have a few more themes that I want to contemplate.
Collage with SAME PERSON:
When the same person is in the same collage more than once, it feels mostly like a memory that the person is having.
- Memory of an experience.
- Memory of a feeling.
- An alter ego.
- De ja vu.
Collages with ANIMALS:
- All horses and dogs. That makes me wonder if cats as pets were popular back then.
- Show horses – pride – companions.
- Dogs – companions.
- Symbol of a wilder side – out of control.
- Taming of the wild side.
- My dad loved animals.
Collages with my POP:
- Most of these collages are my Pop as a child. There are a few of him as a young adult.
- His expressions are mostly serious, especially the ones where he is posing. Some of the more candid shots are less serious. He probably didn’t like to get his photo taken.
- He loves animals and loved to show horses.
Collages of my MAW MAW:
Since all the photos I am using are from her collection, I feel like they tell a lot about her.
- She was surrounded by friends and liked to spend time with them. They had a lot of fun, and she was very close to them.
- She always had a big smile in her photos, so she must have been very happy.
- These photos are her memories, and they are from her perspective.
- They show the positive things in her life, of coarse who wants to take pictures to remember the bad things? I’ve always remembered her as a very positive person.
**PERHAPS SOME DAY, I WILL LOOK AT MY OWN PHOTO COLLECTION AND CREATE SOME COLLAGES. THOUGH, I’M NOT READY TO MOVE ON TO ANOTHER COLLECTION, YET. THAT WOULD BE A WHOLE OTHER THESIS.