Saturday, June 18, 2011

Collage: the Circle Game

Alongside my series of collages on labyrinths, I've begun a new set of circle-based collages. Limiting yourself in any way through choice of shape, colors or theme helps to focus the choices. Just as in writing haiku, having certain restrictions really forces your hand. Cutting the circles is something of a meditative act, since it takes patience to get the circle cut correctly. I do have a handy circle cutter for circles larger than four inches, but even using that tool, sometimes the circles come out slightly imperfect. You just have to work with that and often due to the overlapping nature of collage, you can hide the imperfect edge.

Beginning collage artists might appreciate doing an exercise limiting themselves to circles, as it makes the overlay and fitting together process much more intuitive. There are no jagged edges or complicated jigsaw-like pieces involved. I've also begun mounting some of my matboard collages on wood which I wrap with paper, creating a frame effect. I am experimenting with different lacquer, varnish and gloss mediums for a final durable finish.

We are having a season of drought here in Houston, and the temperatures are getting into the three digit zone, so unless you get out and about in the morning or late evenings, it's hard to stay outdoors for long. I am thankful for air conditioning, and for my continuing collage practice, which keeps me inside, cooled down and busy. Tuesday, June 21, 2011 will be summer solstice, which I plan to commemorate with an early morning labyrinth/photography walk. Happy Summer Solstice to all!

Art images by Keddy Ann Outlaw: Wheel of Life, Labyrinthia 13 and Going South (collages on archival matboard and wood)

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