Underwater Scene

Underwater Scene

I have written this elsewhere but it was such an impactful experience. When I was a little girl I spent a lot of my time during summer under water. It was my safe place, a place where I felt totally protected by the feeling of the water on my body. Everything seemed different under water. The most ordinary of objects were transformed by the light that penetrated the water. The reflections danced every time the water moved and I could follow them on the bottom of the pool for hours. That is when I fell in love with light and color, how it brought out the magic of something on the pool’s bottom and made everything change into glittering diamonds.

My safe place is where I began my life as a collage artist and my love for turning life into pictures. I never went to art school or anything like that because I learned through my own experimentation and the mistakes I have made. Even as a child I always thought visually, but not the kind of visual where I drew or painted. My mind doesn’t think that way. I think in impressions and where things go on a frame, like the wood frames I use in my collages. Instead of paintbrushes and pens or pencils, I use stamps and stencils-some of them store bought and some that I make myself.

For me it is wood and photos. I find most digital collage too neat and precise. I think I fall somewhere between a painter and a colIage artist these days if digital collage is the barometer. I enhance my photos with pigment ink, oil pastel and sometimes watercolor. But the background is photographs I have taken, or even photos of pieces of other collages I have made. I print the photos and use them as a first layer.

I have my cast of characters that I use again and again in my collages, but I put them in different visual situations. They have become my visual language, a language I have fallen in love with. Because I initially create very spontaneously, making collages for me is much like playing, and really isn’t that what it is all about? And having that play reveal new things about myself the more I do it over and over. Of course I want my collages to make others feel something new too-that is thrilling-but I also want to keep reinventing myself as an artist because it is the closest thing I have to that special time I spent underwater.

You can view my collages by clicking here.

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