Begin Again: Collages and Watercolors 2017

After years and years, finally, a studio! While not a posh spot in Bushwick, it suits me well, even if it is only a well-lit room in my home. My husband, who is also a painter, has a studio on the opposite end of the apartment. It has been a struggle finding the motivation and discipline to make art again. I often wonder how, in graduate school, I was able to make art for twelve hours a day, seven days a week!

Beginning studio practice is like starting an exercise regimen; after months (or years) of lethargy, it is difficult to get yourself started. However, we all know that once you get into the habit of exercising, you actually look forward to it. I'm not quite there yet...my sessions (running and painting) come in spurts with big dollops of frustration (and let's be honest- laziness) in between.

Once I no longer had the excuse of "not having a studio," I had to get my butt in gear and not just putter around. My first pieces originated when I was organizing piles of magazines, images, brochures and random objects that I had collected over the years. Some of these fusions took on a sculptural feel, while others remained two-dimensional. At times, it felt as though I had picked up right where I had left off at my MFA show in 2009, which featured sculpture-painting hybrids.  I also began decorating containers and putting plants or studio equipment in them. You can find these images at the bottom of this post.

After a few months of making collages, I realized that I was avoiding the elephant in the room: painting! For some reason I was terrified to open my watercolor case and get my brush wet. I have painted since I was a child, but somehow this pure love for painting got choked down with anxiety. In order to get in touch with my "inner child painter" (I'm just making this up but you get the picture), I set up some paper and paints and allowed myself complete freedom to paint what came to mind. An image popped up in my head, or I noticed an image in a book that I liked, and I went with it. I didn't analyze the source or the painting. As soon as the watercolor was done, I put it aside or mailed it to someone. So far, it is getting easier but it may take a while to hit my stride again. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband who pushes me to face my fears and make this time worthwhile.


Mandala
collage, watercolor, beads, string, keys, found objects, mounted on stretched canvas
22" x 21"
June 2017



Wheels
Collage, watercolor, gouache, beads, mounted on stretched canvas
18.5" x 17.5"
June 2017


Angels
Collage, watercolor, gouache on paper
16" x 11.5"
September 2017




Eclipse
Cardboard, feathers, shells, acrylic paint, newspaper image
17" x 15.5"
September 2017

Eclipse (detail)



Vortexes
Cardboard, canvas, acrylic, collage, watercolor, found images, styrofoam
12" x 30"
August 2017


Buddhas
Watercolor and found object collage, acrylic paint on mounted canvas
11.5 x 14
August 2017



Waves
Acrlyic, styrofoam, found images, watercolor collage, cardboard on mounted canvas
12 x 18"
August 2017


Diptych: Two Frames
Collage of drawings, found images, colored pencil, Sumi ink
each: 9.5 x 18"
July 2017



Africa
Sumi ink, found images, collage
9.5 x 18"
July 2017



"Moving with the Wind, Moving on the Ground, Moving in the Mind
Sumi ink, found images, drawings, colored pencil
9.5 x 18"
July 2017



Triptych: Playtime, Garden of Eden, The System
Found objects, collage, paper on canvas
Each: 12" x 9"



The System
Found images, pennies, craft objects, erasers, collage on canvas
12 x 9"
October 2017



Play Time
images, pennies, dreidels, craft objects, paperclips collage on canvas
12 x 9"
October 2017



Garden of Eden
Found images, craft objects, necklace, compass, coffee maker part, twine on canvas
12 x 9"
October 2017



Bob Marley Magnificat
Found image collage on paper
11" x 17.5"
October 2017



Bob Marley Magnificat (detail)



Memories of the Met
Pen, crayon, collage on paper
15 x 19.5 inches
Aug-Sept 2017


Memories of the Met (detail)

Memories of the Met (detail)


Ascension
Collage, paper, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, cardboard
19.5 x 22.5"
October 2017



Ascension (detail)



Buddhas and Roses
Collage of found images on paper
9.5 x 11.5 inches
October 2017





Chaos and the Universe
Found image, watercolor and gouache, rubber hair ties, craft material, paper and stretcher bars
18 x 18"
October 2017



Frame for Richard Avedon's Photo (The Last Slave Family)
Found image, collage, watercolor, found frame parts, paper
15.5 x 18"
November 2017



The Gold Being Inside
Watercolor and gouache on paper
12 x 9"
November 2017




Wake Up
Watercolor and gouache on paper
12 x 9"
November 2017




The Sleeping Giant, after William Blake's Jacob's Ladder (ca. 1790) 
Watercolor and gouache on paper
17 x 11"
November 2017



Grid of Cards

Sun
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Praying Angel
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Void
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Angel Playing Guitar, after Gaudenzio Ferrari's Musical Angels (1532)
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Colors of the Aura
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Seraphim, after Florencio's Majesty (945) Illuminated page from The Discourses of Job
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

UFO
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Monkey and Fox under a Date Palm
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Embryo
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Eye
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Angel Playing Violin after Gaudenzio Ferrari's Musical Angels (1532)
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

I See You
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Praying Angel
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Truth Speaker
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 5 inches
December 2017

Card Grid

Master of the Moon
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

Deprogramming
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

Angel Above the Little Town
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

After Antonio de Lohny's God Enthroned Surrounded by the Symbols of the Evangelists (1465-66)
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

Through the Portal
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

Vortex
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017

Eagle, after Florencio's Majesty (945) Illuminated page from The Discourses of JobWatercolor and Gouache on Paper
5 x 3 inches
December 2017



A Woman's Box (Cactus Planter)
Cardboard, foam, gold leaf, found images, collage
(closed) 5 x 5 x 5 inches
(open) 5 x 8 x 9.5 inches
October 2017


A Woman's Box (View from Front)


A Woman's Box (View from Side)


Some of my decorated containers...


And more!


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