Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making Messes (From Chaos to Conception)

This is the mess my daughter, Caitlin, and I made in the dining room on  Saturday.  

We decided to do a craft day, something we hadn't done in a long time.

So we got out the beads, and wire, and findings, and jewelry pliers and all that other stuff...

Caitlin made a very cool necklace...

...with a Celtic knot charm, a key, and one of those little pins, to which she added a pearl.  (She didn't want me to take her picture, because she "hadn't even showered yet".)
I, on the other hand, just made a mess.

Sunny and Arlo did not get to make crafts.  I think you can see why.

Then, on Sunday, I made another mess.  For me, starting a new collage is always the messiest part of the process.  In this case, my starting point was this small piece I did a few months ago. 

I wasn't satisfied with it (Where have we heard that story before?), so I wiped some of it off and re-worked it, adding some collaged papers to it as well.   I had only a vague idea what I wanted to do, so I pulled out gobs of monotype scraps, maps, ephemera, papers...

(I won't be using the dog toys in the piece- probably.)

... and began to assemble different combinations of materials that I thought might work, as I attempted to develop the concept I had in my mind's eye... trying one thing, discarding it, pulling out something else.  Often, the idea may undergo a bit of a metamorphosis as I find materials that will help me to solidify my vision...

 Right away, I found I liked this map for the lower part of the piece... I glued these down, using a clear adhesive sheet called Grafix Double Tack Mounting Film.  I prefer this for attaching large papers to a flat surface, because there's none of the wrinkling or warping you get with liquid glues.

Eventually, I decided to add a section of a (scanned) 1957 map of the constellations, and glued this down as well.

This is how it stands so far, with the three major components glued on.  Stay tuned to find out what I do with it next...


  1. I love seeing your process...looks fabulous. Your daughter made a really cooool necklace..and I love your dogs:)

  2. I also love seeing your works in progress. I'm adore your use of maps. Craft day looks like a blast. Great necklace.

  3. I love it already! that map really wants to live there! and yes all the other parts fit so beautifully together too! fun to see your process!! and I want a necklace like that!! really creative!

  4. I like where this is going. The map has definitely added interest to the piece.

  5. Hi Cynnie, I'm glad you like seeing the work in progress; personally, I really enjoy seeing how other artists work. I'm glad, too, that you enjoy seeing the dogs. I love them, but am not always sure others share my interest!

    Hi Manon! Yes, I'm hooked on the maps- I just love using them in my work. And craft day was a blast; I'm hoping to do them more often.

    Hi Cat! I lucked out- the map just seemed to belong there. This one is coming together much more easily than my pieces usually do. I'd like to have a necklace like that, too! Caitlin is more talented with jewelry making than I am.

    Thanks, Robyn; I hope the rest of this piece goes as well as the beginning!

  6. I, too, like the collage already - the deep blues and the maps of land and cosmos. I remembered I have a great, old book of constellations. I didn't want to cut it up, but, DUH, scanning would work. Hope I kept it!

    I love the photo of Sunny and Arlo, how sweet they look
    touching noses, are they such sweet friends?

  7. This is one great composition...the map below and the sky map are will be interesting to see how it develops.

  8. Love Caitlin's necklace and can't wait to see the finished collage...

  9. Messy is always my favorite way to approach art...funny how mess drives me crazy in any other room of the house!...but for art, it is the only way to let loose, play and see what wants to be where...I am totally with you on process sister!!!!

  10. Thanks, Valerianna. I started scanning things when I realized some were irreplaceable, and I might want to use them again; like you said there are some things you don't want to cut up.
    Yes, Arlo and Sunny do love each other- there is some "sibling rivalry" at times, though!

    Hi Mary Ann, and thanks; I hope it lives up to its potential (and I don't screw it up!).

    Thanks, Dianne. Hopefully I'll have more progress to post soon.

    Laura, I agree, I really don't like the mess in other places, either. That doesn't mean they're not messy; I just don't like it!

  11. ooh, happy weasel play time? Looks like fun and I'm loving the new piece!

  12. I miss craft time with my kids, they are all too grown up and busy these days... and I am excited to see where this collage goes!

  13. Thanks, Whitney; I've never been called a happy weasel before, but I like it! (sorry, just my weird sense of humor)

    Hi Deb! My daughter is 23, but lives close enough that we can spend time together. We don't get to do crafts much anymore, though.

  14. oh, i love the image you started with, and what you're doing with it is fantastic!
    and great necklace :)

  15. avec un peu de retard.. j'aime ces créations..


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