Where my interest in collage and photo transfer really crystallized

Here is one of the first pieces I made this summer that I really liked. This piece came to be through serendipity.

I was sitting in a “mixed media” class at 92nd street Y, that met once a week. It didn’t quite have the real art school feel of the Arts Student League (in NY) or Mass’ Art (in Boston), but was quite a nice class. I was still recovering from work, at the beginning of my time off, and not quite as engaged as I got later on.

But somehow, after a couple classes, and given some direction on a new technique, I got to create something I really liked. I learned how to do photo transfer. Basically, take a picture from a magazine, apply lots of gel on top of it, then put it on top of a piece of bristol paper and use a little super cute brayer roller to transfer the color and shapes onto your paper. The result is an unpredictably blurry version of the original image you started with.

I played with that for a while and got something that looked nice, but lacked coherence, or a place for the eye to stop, or to get started, as the teacher said. So I decided to go bold (at least it felt that way to me) and draw those solid colored lines that now really structure that piece.

And.. I really liked the result!

So here it is.

Mixed media_collage_photo transfer_92nd street Y

11×14 Mixed media on bristol paper

And later on, I kept playing with a similar concept, this time going bigger and using masking tape to pre-draw those large lines. I also got inspired by pictures of brain cells. This piece is much larger:

Mixed media_collage_photo transfer_Arts Student League

22×28 Mixed media on bristol paper

The big learning from this, for me, was to just free up, express myself and “go bold”, “think big”. All things that for me were contrary to my natural tendency. I also have to say that those pieces may seem pretty normal to others and not show all of that internal struggle. But they meant a lot to me. I hope you enjoy them!

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