Study in watercolour and plastic film.
The orange squares have been cut from a used plastic bag.
These squares were then stuck onto strips cut to the appropriate width. These strips were from and A5 piece of paper, onto which I had painted a simple repeating pattern of vertical brush strokes done with a chisel edge brush. Painting these strokes is calming and meditative, and doesn’t tense the hand muscles, because I have wrapped sponge around the brush and slid a used toilet roll over the sponge, so that I have a very wide handle.
The other piece of paper was the one that I was cleaning my brush on. I cut the strips with my paper trimmer to ensure that they would sit flush against the other strips.
The fact that the paper thickness is the same for each strip, means I can then collage over top of them without having to worry about visible dips and rises on the collaged element.
I envisage these works as mainly decorative, which being small, and having subdued colour, should go well with most interior colour shemes in people’s homes.
After using my paper trimmer to chop up some junk mail into different widths of vertical strips, I took some pieces of paper which I had painted on with water and indian ink and put them into my newly acquired paper shredder. I then collaged the strips side-by-side onto 620gsm paper. The previous day I had been fusing together pieces of plastic bags. Today I cut a primitive/naive looking hand from one of those fused plastic collages. I then cut out two sides of of a white translucent shopping bag and fused the hand shape in between to two sheets of white ( kind of “trapping’ it in the plastic).
I then glued the plastic onto the collaged paper strips, which created an interesting visual effect, while also serving to protect the surface.
It all sits inside a recycled frame which I did a white on black DIY crackle effect on.
I’ve been using my paper trimmer for slicing up junk-mail and supermarket receipts with coupons printed on the back, gluing these onto paper, but not knowing quite what to do with them. Over the last week I’ve been thinking about different ways that plastic supermarket bags could be used for art. I bought a kind of sharpie that is for writing on plastic, and today while trying it out, got the idea to then stick it over the paper collages. I think the result has a lot of potential to become affordable decorative art:
The following are some of the collages I have been working on, which aren’t to be viewed as finished works, but as small bits of what will be larger assemblage works, and may even end up being painted over to some degree.
I work up textures and patterns, and I also write stream of thought prose, or repeated words and sentences. I then cut these up with an A4 sized paper trimmer, as it’s much easier on my hands than using a knife, and ensures each strip sits flush against the next.
Last week I invested in a twenty dollar A4 paper trimmer, in order to be able to cut up and collage without having to strain my hands each time I hold down the paper, or card, and slice along a straight edge with my scalpel.
I have always wanted to find a way of using junk mail in collage, rather than just throw it out. I have a “No Junk Mail” sign on my mailbox these days, but still get the odd circular from time to time.
So, as you can see, I have used the paper trimmer on the recent self-portrait I did, and one of those department store style leaflets with the “model family” posing. Both are poses, or facades of a kind which contribute to the fragmented sense of self consumerism nurtures and depends upon.
This isn’t a finished work, but just one of the many collages I intend to do, which will provide source material that I can cut up, tear, and paint, so that it can contribute to a larger assembled piece in the future.