What’s Your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos

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I’m excited to share a project that I’ve been working on for many months. Someone recently asked me where the idea came from and I realized it has actually been in the works for years. I told them:  It has been inside me for a long time and most of my mixed media art has  been leading up to this special project, although I didn’t know it at the time.

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It was 2007 when I created a class called Itty Bitty Pretties. It involved creating little tiny mini collages on 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 inch squares: a background, a cut out black and white photograph, a word,  and finally, an assemblage piece; each one represented a different family member.  Here is 64.

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It has been inside me for a long time and most of my mixed media art has been leading up to this special project, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Jump ahead to 2012, when I started creating mixed media collages on playing and flash cards. During the summer of that year I lived on a boat at the Portland Waterfront for 29 days; I created a card for each day I was there.

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In the fall of 2015, I made a travel journal in the style of my current project, creating about 60 pre painted pages, which I embellished throughout the 40 days I was gone.

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At the beginning of this year, I started to lay the framework for an idea to take all of these past projects and incorporate them into a new one. It gets a bit blurry about the timing. I remember working on page backgrounds when we went to Arizona in February, where I slathered paint and created texture using plaster and gesso, always writing and embedding text into the wet paint and over the dry plaster.

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what-is-your-story-6I remember returning to my studio and beginning the process of gathering textiles, ephemera, and little found objects to eventually incorporate into my collage pieces. I also began gathering dozens of black and white photographs, mostly of strangers.

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april-2016-2In May of this year, I went on an art retreat with my Portland Art Collective, where I spent three days composing and auditioning layouts.

 

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After returning from the retreat, I continued building my collages and gave them a name, What’s your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos. My collection of ephemera expanded, as did my obsession with black and white photographs.

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I continued building my collages and gave them a name, What’s your Story, Real or Imagined: Telling Stories Through Black & White Photos. My collection of ephemera expanded, as did my obsession with black and white photographs.

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november-7These are a sampling of my mixed media collages and all are a work in progress. When I’m at my studio, I am continually digging through my bits and auditioning that one more thing to add another layer of interest and mystery.

november-13My plan is to continue working on these pages and in the fall of 2017, I’ll be offering a workshop at Salem Art Association’s Art Annex in conjunction with a collaborative history project, which is in the works.

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