Art, Artistic Process, Collage
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February + Collage = Februllage

It may seem strange to post about collages when so many horrible things are going on in Ukraine. Besides making a small donation to an organization assisting there*, and offering up thoughts and prayers for peace, I have not really felt empowered to make any real difference in the resolution of the conflict.

So, in order to keep my focus on the idea of “creation”, I committed my time and energy to a group art project entitled “Februllage”. In my free-time I worked continuously through the month of February to fulfill a promise (to myself) to create 28 collages based on daily prompts.

This creative distraction reminded of other times in my life when outside forces were out of my control and I would sit and meditatively do needlework or other crafts in order to push through it all, to keep my spirit up, to emotionally survive. I don’t remember if I have posted this here before but I like to say: “I’m lucky that many of my defense mechanisms are considered talents.”


Februllage 2022 in process

FEBRULLAGE 2022

Februllage is a collaboration between Edinburgh Collage Collective and the Scandinavian Collage Museum. For 2022 they posted this set of daily collage prompts:

They did not set any other daily parameters but, because I suppose it was not hard enough to spend days trying to find key images and to think of how to best present them, I added additional rules for myself, as a challenge. I decided that all my 28 collages had to be:

  • 4” wide by 6” high;
  • constructed of paper, adhesives, and tape only;
  • portrait orientation (short edge on top); and
  • ideally, if it is a noun, will contain an image that is, or represents that prompt word.

Here are my 2022 Februllage pieces (click on them to enlarge)

A Challenge

If you have not tired of reading about my collages yet, I will tell you a story of the Clouds piece, a near-fail. (This might also give a little insight to my internal process as I work on these pieces.)

During my image searching phase I found many images of clouds and even a large sofa shaped like a cloud, and I would have used those as my background but then I saw some graph paper with clouds I had hand stamped over 20 years ago. I had designed and carved a rubber stamp to print the negative space between clouds and this was a scrap of paper I had used for testing. I liked the colors and the industrial feel of the rigid blue squares under the pastel clouds.

I found an old Ray Ban sunglasses advertisement that was printed on vellum, a sheer opaque paper and I thought it would work with the clouds and some lavender handmade recycled paper.

Unfortunately, after I had decided on my layout and I began to assemble the collage, I did not remember that I had used water-soluble ink for those clouds and it reacted with the glue, started to smear. I had also decided to punch a few holes in the vellum, thinking they would allow some of the cloud colors to peek through—but this was not as clever an idea as I had imagined when the edges of these little holes caught clumps of glue. These clumps created a mess as I tried to apply the vellum to the base collage. And, then everything became difficult to align when I tried to apply glue directly to the vellum instead—it rolled up tightly and would not uncurl all the way.

I almost threw the collage away because it would not lay flat; it had so many flaws. Then I remembered a phrase from “Art Engineer” Luis Martin (of Collage Dream) that I heard in one of his YouTube videos, “nothing is precious” so, I clenched my teeth and just ripped off the offending warped and bubbled vellum revealing the clouds and brighter colors beneath. [P.S. Luis has a Februllage Show & Tell video you might enjoy.]

Sprocket Prints – My Journal

I have a previous post about Keeping Notebooks. This year I am using a slightly larger art journal format. For February, each of my daily entries featured a small Sprocket print of that day’s collage on top of a printed/painted black bar, a visual anchor.

First journal page before I wrote my entries

UPDATE-March 2022: Because of crisis in Ukraine the Februllage project has added an additional collage prompt “Peace”. Here is my piece, created March 5, 2023:

PEACE

“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”

Carlos Santana
*9 Meaningful Ways You Can Help Ukraine [https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/ways-to-help-ukraine-conflict/]

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