Monday, April 15, 2019

Art On A Roll

One of the projects I wanted to try in 2019 is Art on a Roll. You can see my thoughts on what this year might bring on my Happy New Year blog post. I began it in early February, on a roll of Strathmore Bristol, which is 42" wide and ten yards long. As you can see in the photos below, I expose only a few feet of the roll at a time, and just work on that section. Then I roll up most of what I've done, unroll some blank paper, gesso it, and continue.

This process has helped me stay in the present moment, stay with what is going on in front of me. I have had lots of questions about what my plans are for the whole thing when it is "finished", but the truth is that I don't have any. It is the experience that I want to explore.

This is a few layers into the first section.

Close up of second section

Another close-up

Second section again

Beginning of third section


Many layers into section 4

More of Section 4

This is where it begins to turn into a landscape
And I put this little Scottish Village on it. Could also be in Newfoundland, but a friend is visiting Scotland and posting gorgeous photos, so that was on my mind.

Close up of the village

There might be another village across the water...

I am on another section now, and I did put some buildings on this patch of earth. I have an idea to do a workshop on this process, where we all work on our own Art on a Roll, and also do a communal one. I'm considering logistics and venue. Let me know if this interests you, or if you have ideas on how it would work for you.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Collage Challenge #3

For National Poetry Month (my uncle says, "There is a reason it's called 'the cruelest month'"), both parts of my collage challenge involve collaging with type. Or text. Could be handwriting or printed. The stipulation I want to make is that the text and type be used as an abstract element, for its visual content, not its verbal meaning. You may be able to read bits of words, but the shapes of the letters or texture/pattern of text is the visually meaningful aspect.

Magazines and newspapers, as well as junk mail and flyers, are great sources of type and text material. Look for a variety of scale, font, color, and spacing. To get you started I made a five-page pdf of nonsense type that you can download here. Print what you like and add it to your own stash.

Part 1: Make collages using type as a primary element (include other elements if you like) and post them on our Flickr group here. I have created a Pinterest Board with examples of using type as an abstract element. Take a look for inspiration!

This is my collection of type.

The beginning of a collage that I will sand.

Detail shot of work in progress

Detail shot of work in progress

Another collection of found type
Part 2: send me collage papers with type on them. You can make them using letter stamps or handwriting, or stencils, or send me found text. Please include any other collage papers that you think will go well with the type. Send to:

Jane Davies Studios
Collage Challenge #3
PO Box 45
Rupert, Vermont  05768

I will choose a few winners and make collages for them using the text they've sent.

Send me a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage (if you are in the US, no postage if you are not in the US), and I will send you a little collection of papers from my own stash and previous challenges.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Winners for Collage Challenge #2

I know it is not quite the end of the month, but I am posting this to coordinate with my every-other-Friday newsletter schedule. Don't forget to check in on Monday for April's Collage Challenge #3.

Here are two monochrome collages going to two "winners" from Collage Challenge #2. It was hard to choose winners because there were so many great collections of collage papers all in one color.

This one goes to Rosemary in Devon, UK. She sent me these gorgeous papers in RED.

This goes to Linda in Kansas. Her color was orange, though here on the screen it looks so similar to the red. I did not actually give preference to this color range.
Check out the Flickr Group, where people have posted collages made with Collage Challenge #2 papers, and Collage Challenge #1 papers.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

More Hearts

I started experimenting with hearts in late January, in search of a studio activity that I could do "just for fun". You can see previous posts here, here, and a video here. You can view the whole collection on Fine Art America.

My current collage hearts come from an exercise I did with my Collage-a-thon class in Portland the other week. We explored how the shape can be defined by positive and negative space.

Heart #39

Heart #40

Heart #41

Heart #42

Heart #43

Heart #44

Heart #45


Heart #48
All of these are approximately 5.5#x7.5"

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Radical Collage

I have been working on these "extreme layering" pieces, of which you can see a few examples on a previous post. Besides being just plain FUN to do, this process offers a lot of lessons in art practice. The main one is that it forces you to let go of any attachment you might have to the "pretty bits". They will inevitably be covered over or radically altered. To get the kind of depth and sense of history that characterizes the pieces, you have to layer and layer and layer.

Here is one piece at various stages of the process. It is on 11x14" cradled wood panel.

First layer of collage after a coat of gesso
Second layer of collage
Third layer of collage
Fourth layer of collage
After sanding with an orbital sander, a coat of gesso mixed with paint (the yellow-green), and then more sanding
More collage and painting and sanding
At this point you can see that the steps forward get much much less dramatic. At this point I have found the image and it's a matter of tweaking.
I quieted down the upper left quadrant.

I toned down a small section in the center. This might be done.
I am curious to know if any of you have tried a process like this. I will be teaching a workshop on this process in 2020, after I get a better handle on the variables and possibilities. For instance, I'm wondering if a dremel tool has the capacity for this kind of sanding. Anyone know?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Works from Collage Challenge #2

Here are a few of the pieces posted on our flickr group, Jane Davies Collage Challenge, for Collage Challenge #2:

This one has friends! An installation.

"After Matisse"

Check out our Collage Challenge #2 post, and then go over and visit the flickr group.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Layering and Sanding

If you have been over to my Facebook page, you'll see that I'm working on pieces that make use of what I'm calling "extreme layering". I build up layers of collage (using Utrecht Matte Medium), and also layers of Sandable Hard Gesso, sometimes mixed with paint, and then sand down the layers with an orbital sander. I use a lot of other techniques as well, but this sanding offers such great surprises!

The above are all 14"x11" on Blick's Bristol. I think wood panel would be a good substrate too, but if you begin with a layer of gesso and then about four layers of collage, this bristsol is sturdy enough. I am using a lot of magazine papers as well as painted and printed papers. I have the benefit - thanks to those of you participating in my collage challenge! - of SO many different collage papers.

When I have explored this process sufficiently, I'll do a workshop on it.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Monochrome Collage

Here are some beautiful green papers I got in the mail yesterday, my FIRST envelope of collage papers from this Collage Challenge #2. 

I did a scan of some of my pink papers from the last challenge. I have organized the papers into color groups, including single color groups, neutrals, black and white, and multi-color.

And below are examples of monochrome collages.

These are pieces of student work from an online class.

This is one of mine; it does have a little purple and red in it, but to me it still reads as monochrome.
Head over to our flickr group where people are posting collages using the collage papers from Collage Challenge #2. There is some pretty exciting work there.

Keep sending me self-addressed envelopes (stamped if you are in the USA) so I can send you little packets of collage papers.