This is a new collage painting by yours truly from a batch of recently created works. This is a 12″ x 12′ canvas that was primed with at least three layers of gesso. Then the images were soaked in water until pliable. They were blotted and then applied with matte medium to the canvas. Then I painted over the entire piece with acrylics once I was content with the composition. The images are from a diverse assortment of paper I had been holding onto, including part of a cover of a Tarzan comic book, a Tarot card, a picture of Shirley Manson, a magazine page of Britney Spears, a panel from the Dazzler graphic novel and the text is from a children’s storybook. There’s a small paragraph or two from the Tao Ching in there as well.
This is the original collage composition before I began the painting process. I used origami paper to tie in some of the more disparate design elements. This piece was challenging in that it seemed to have a more complicated narrative going on with the images. That may have been because it was the last piece that I worked on in the batch (It is usually my process to create many collages at once and then give them one on one time during the painting process).
At first, I wasn’t sure what palette I would be using when painting it and I left the piece alone while I considered it.
Once I started applying paint it became a struggle to not cover up the type. It was important to me retain the phrase that I had assembled because it represented the narrative to me, even if the images didn’t correspond in a logical manner. “a little boy in our house causes floods and sometimes earthquakes” was the important narrative. How The Fool and the Tarzan comic informed that phrase is a bit loose, but those are the kinds of things I like to leave up to the viewer. I let myself be guided by my inner creative spirit. Of course, I have my own meaning for this piece and have to admit, it is perhaps my favorite of the recent batch in spite of it not being the most iconic or dynamic of finalized images. I think art is more interesting when there’s a constant push and pull. For me, the resolution of this piece is in between that discord.
When you look at this piece and then at the completed painting at the beginning of this post you can see how I chose to intensify the dark reds around the text and in the brown paint. This was done with a blend of black India ink and some red inks known as Bat’s Blood and Dragon’s Blood. I like to use these when I can to give the art a magickal intention.
This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.