Every now and then I get the urge to cover myself, my studio, and various more appropriate surfaces with pretty paper bits. I have a large collection of hand-made papers, found papers, and papers that are the result of my inability to let even the tiniest bit of leftover paint or printmaking ink go to waste. I keep some lightweight papers around to spread colours around on with brush, roller, and improvised stamps after a nice, messy work session. Sometimes, as I mentioned a while back, I just like to throw paint at paper when I can’t think of anything to paint. And sometimes, *gasp* a painting doesn’t work out and I consign it to the “tear-up” pile. All this thriftiness gives me lots of material to work with for collages.
Usually when someone says “collage”, most people think of cutting up magazines and putting pictures together in a theme. I like to do that too, especially if I get to juxtapose things like octopuses and skyscrapers, but for the kind of collage I’m talking about here, I think of the paper as more of a painting material — just colours to be put together as if I were painting with them. I usually do a whole batch of them at once, because once I get rolling, I use the scraps from the last collage to jump-start a new one, and I don’t want to stop and clean up (and lose track of) my carefully ordered tiny bits of paper. OK, to be honest, there is no order other than proximity to my work zone; all available surfaces nearby are a mosaic of feather-light fragments that shift places every time I walk by and make a breeze. But sometimes… sometimes that random migration puts together colours that I never would have thought of putting together, and I wander off down a new path.
Here is one of those batches; you will notice similarities in the papers I used. I kind of think of them as a family of collages, with similar genetics. They are all quite small, either 4×6 inches or 6×6 Inches.