Friday, December 6, 2019

Wall Collage, or Making Marks

I usually have a bit of a creative slump at this time of year. Perhaps it is because it's the end of my teaching season and the days are short. In any case, it's often a time of year at which I have to dig a little deeper to find inspiration. The Inner Critic seems to like November and December, and she is ready to come into the studio and tell me how bad my work is, and how I may never make another piece of good art again.

This is a good time to dip into Cat Bennett's book, "Making Art a Practice". It was "Practice 5: Loosen Up" that did it this time. It's similar to my 30-minute mark making practice, but without the time frame. She suggests just making marks, with focus on process, not product. Sound familiar? So I decided to prep some newspaper and brown wrapping paper with a coat of white paint, gesso, or matte medium, and then just draw. I made Marks That I Like, marks that I enjoy making, which is a good place to start. Graphite, crayons, marker, pen, paint - all were welcome.

My studio walls are covered in homosote, which takes push pins easily, so I'm pinning my marks up on the wall. Here are a few pix from this week:

I started with just black, white, neutrals, and a tiny bit of color.

Here you see paint, crayon, and graphite on brown wrapping paper.

I added a bit more color - quinacridone gold and a bit of yellow ochre.

And then red. My wall began to 'compose' itself, and I played with moving things around, filling in gaps with smaller pieces of collage paper.

Now I am really seeing this as a kind of 'quilt' - a piecing together of different materials.

I am trying to stay pretty loose here and not overthink it. My only 'finished product' will be whatever documentation I do. My intention is just to play around with marks,  and to arrange and rearrange them on the wall.


  1. I love this! I've been doing something of the same! I love finding the serendipitous connections. Keep going- so exciting to watch!

  2. Thanks for sharing this fantastic method of playing around with your work.

  3. Glad to know I’m not the only one with a slump. Thought I’d just watched too many videos and read too many blogs. HA. Thanks!

  4. I love your process here. Find it so inspirational and free. Such wonderful play. Love your results of mark making too.

  5. I'm loving this, both the process and the product.

  6. Jane, You continue to inspire me. Over the past couple of years I have been piecing canvas shapes, gluing and sewing them into compositions.I think I'm going to try this exercise and see if it leads me into some new compositions! You're the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Holidays­čÄü


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