Saturday, February 22, 2014

Celebrating the unplanned

This piece was created yesterday, apparently with circles (see previous post) still on my mind.

I never know what's going to happen when I put these photomontages together. I usually begin (these days) with a blank canvas and then start adding photographs. Part of what you see here are to-go coffee insulators (corrugated cardboard) and round bits of metal.

What I like about the result is how I've got all those straight, linear lines in repeating patterns, on the diagonal, that contrast with the round forms of the disks.

Also appealing to me is the monochromatic palette, the contrast of dark and light, the way the diagonal lines top and bottom point your eye to the peek of the "planets" going past in the middle. I made the center "moon" with a bit of red in it to create more interest and to add more of a sense of mystery.

There's no way I could have envisioned something like this ahead of time. So when you read articles about how to make composite photographs, and they tell you to "collect the photos you want to use ahead of time," fuhgeddaboudit.

Put something down on a blank canvas. Add something else. Add something else. And eventually you'll be in your own weird little world, experimenting with this and that.

Talk to a collage artist (one who works with physical papers and glue and paint) and she'll tell you the same thing. Talk to a painter. She'll say the same. Start gluing stuff down. Start making marks on paper. Remove parts of some papers. Cover others with paint. Use some graphite on top of the paint. Smear it.

Something less than wonderful may result. That's okay. You're learning, you're playing, and nothing you do is wasted. It all builds over time.

But every once in awhile, something cool emerges. Those are the times you savor, you relish, and that make you especially happy. And that encourage you to keep on keeping on. Not only are you building your portfolio, but you're building your confidence.

Play + experimentation + confidence = a delightful and ever-changing body of work, whether your "work" is cooking, photography, watercolors, fashion, etc.

Have a creative weekend!

©Carol Leigh


  1. Great post Carol. We should all keep experimenting & trying new stuff. You are my inspiration!!!!

  2. That is SO 3D! I agree one should never stop experimenting.

  3. Judy, I'll be your inspiration any day. And Jo, yes, it IS rather 3D, isn't it? Good description.


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