I often use collage as a base layer in mixed media pieces, but it’s rare that it’s visible, other than as texture, by the time I’ve finished. In recent months, I’ve had this underlying curiosity about using collage as the main form rather than just a starting point.
So, when I saw some discarded papers left after cutting circles for a honeycomb bauble, I had the idea to use them as the basis for a collage.
I decided I wanted some colour and painted a background in greens, using cling film to create texture. Then I glued my three circle scrap papers down, overlapping them and then painting them black as the natural kraft colour didn’t contrast well enough with the greens.
I also had some right-angled card strip left over from making the unicorn shadow box. They formed the next layer of the collage.
What next? I wanted to fill in a few of the blocks created by the strips, but I didn’t want to completely lose all of the shapes of the circles underneath. The answer came in the form of some frosted acetate which I coloured green with alcohol ink.
The original circles had been reduced to curves by this point; I brought the motif back with the addition of circles cut from handmade paper.
I was going to leave it at this point and create the final work by simply choosing and cutting a six-inch square out of the A4 sheet I had been working on. But, after doing that, I was left with all these interesting offcuts and I decided that another layer was needed. Rather than adding pieces at random, I found areas that had some of the thin card strips on them, trimmed them down and aligned the strips on the offcuts with the ones already on the collage. A couple of extra pieces to balance some of the white on the last pieces and all it needed was a card mount to finish it off.