COLLAGES GALORE: ALL MY NEW WORK IN ONE BLOG POST

The fact that I haven’t posted a blog in ages doesn’t mean I have been slacking in the studio as well. So here’s a long overdue overview of all the new collages I made over the last couple of months. Collages galore!

HOMEGROWN COLLAGES

The end of the year 2020. I was exhausted because of everything that had changed or was about to change in my life. Another art studio, discarding our emigration plans at least for a couple of years, finding and buying a new home… I was so tired and couldn’t think about making art. Yet I kept on going to the studio every day. Just to be surrounded by my work and maybe find some energy. That’s when I started cutting old work up. And two weeks later I suddenly had all these new collages (19 pieces) staring at me from my studio wall.

They’re called homegrown for a good reason: this is what comes naturally. So this is what I am sticking with. CLICK HERE TO SEE + LEARN MORE.

RETRO MAGAZINE SERIES

After finishing the Homegrown collages series I decided to prepare for our upcoming house move. So I decided to start packing all my stuff and started organising my archive. That’s when I found all these old retro magazines I bought at the thrift store ages ago. Before I knew it I was cutting them op, pasting them onto each other. And without any intention I was making art again. And let me tell you a secret: that’s the best kind of ‘making art’ there is.

CLICK HERE TO SEE + LEARN MORE (12 pieces in total)

NEW BEGINNINGS COLLAGES

A new year a new beginning. After a very weird 2020 I figured we could all do with some refreshing new beginnings in 2021. So I cut up all my drawings from 2020 together with some even older art and started making new things. These nine collages emerged. I deliberately used a lot of lucky red, because a little luck is never wasted. Especially during these times!

CLICK HERE TO SEE + LEARN MORE (9 pieces in total)

WINTER SEASON SERIES

After finishing my New Beginnings I had all these colourful ink parts left. I wanted to make good use of them because I loved all those intense and saturated colours. I started this series without a plan. Just cutting up everything I thought would work well with those ink layers. When the grid was complete and I started naming them I couldn’t help but to put seasons in their names. During those days I was just so very happy with the winter cold we were experiencing back then. It had been ages (two years actually!) and I am a sucker for frost, ice and icy winds.

With all their whites and blues some of them really felt like winter. There are some that represent spring and one that’s got more of an autumn vibe. But, like one of their titles: Winter always finds a way! CLICK HERE TO SEE + LEARN MORE (9 pieces in total).

GLIMPSES OF INK COLLAGES

This series is first and foremost the result of me wanting to experiment with different layers of ink drawings. After finishing the Winter Season series I wanted to try something different. So I started cutting up all old ink drawings from back in 2018. And I chose a series of ink drawings as backgrounds. Because I also wanted to add some colour and wanted to challenge myself I decided to only pick one series of oil paintings to cut up. After four days of cutting they came together quite quickly. CLICK HERE TO SEE + LEARN MORE (9 pieces in total)

MORE COLLAGES COMING SOON?

So that’s that: collages galore! Currently I am getting used to working in the studio full time again after two months of renovating, cleaning, tidying and home making after our house move. Already drowning in collage supplies I decided to revisit some old work first.

HOW TO RECREATE YOUR OWN ART (OR NOT)

How to recreate your own art? As I stepped into my art studio last week I realised what an unusually long period of time it had been since I had picked up a brush, mixed some paint or used my scissors. It had been almost two whole months. So I must admit I felt very out of practice and a little nervous as well. That’s why I decided to give myself something of a break and start of easy. Elaborating on some of my earlier works instead of wanting myself to create something new and unique immediately. This blog is about how I wanted to recreate my own art. How I failed miserably the first time and how I managed to succeed in the end.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RECREATE YOUR OWN ART IN THE FIRST PLACE?

There are a couple of reasons why as an artist you would like to recreate your own art:

  • You want to get back in shape after a long studio break and decide you want to elaborate on some of your earlier works.
  • You’re quite fascinated by some of your earlier works and want to explore where you can take it in terms of theme, colour schemes, subject or size.
  • You feel like you’re onto something with these artworks and want to know what it is exactly.
  • The artworks themselves ‘ask’ for more. Like they are part of something bigger, or something different.

WHY I WANTED IT

In my case it was a combination of all the reasons above.

First, like I said, I wanted to give myself a break and ease into making art again after a long break.

how to recreate your own art: my botanical abstracts on which I wanted to elaborate
My botanical abstracts (summer 2020)

Second, I wanted to explore where I could take my botanical abstracts in terms of art practice. Because ever since I painted them last summer I was fascinated by them. Not only by their final results but also and especially by how they came together. They were the results of the most care free art practice I had experienced so far and I loved everything about them.

Third, I wanted to discover what it was that made them so unique. Because care free art is the best. But if you can’t remember what it was you did or aren’t able to do it again then it’s just luck. Or so did I feel at least.

Fourth and final, I also felt the artworks asked for more. Like they were supposed to become part of a larger family of artworks. I already fulfilled their wish last year by making botanical sculptures. But they were very convincing: they wanted children of their own. And if art is speaking to you like that, the only thing you can do as an artist is to oblige.

how to recreate your own art: botanical sculptures to go with the botanical abstract paintings

HOW TO FAIL AT RECREATING YOUR OWN ART

So I got to work feeling quite confident. And I failed miserably. After six paintings I already knew I was heading in a totally different direction. But I wanted to use up my paints and keep on trying so I kept on working until I had twelve paintings. Twelve paintings that had absolutely nothing to do with the works I wanted them to resemble. The colours where off, the compositions didn’t work and I ended up feeling very frustrated that evening.

how to not recreate your own art: this is what I cooked up when I wasn't paying attention

The next morning at breakfast we talked about it and how I didn’t feel very motivated to get back in the studio. Because, well, I couldn’t even make something I had already made before. What kind of complete loser artist was I?! But as we were talking about it, it became clear that I just hadn’t done my research properly. Using the colour theory by Johannes Itten we analysed the new paintings and compared them to the earlier works. We concluded:

  • The colour schemes of the earlier works was tertiary, while the colour schemes of the new paintings was secondary.
  • Furthermore, the tones in the earlier works were more grayed out, while the tones in the new paintings were more saturated.
  • Composition wise the earlier works were more like complex collages with multiple layers, while the new paintings were much simpler with only two layers.

These three factors resulted in something completely different! So I had to get back to the drawing board. The frustration had grown into eagerness to get it right this time!

HOW TO SUCCEED AT RECREATING YOUR OWN ART.

This time I really looked at my earlier works: what colour combinations did I use? What composition choices did I make? Not taking anything for granted but really trying to understand my own work, my choices and my techniques.

After that I started mixing new colours. I used a lot of complementary colours to create the grey tones and tertiary colours. After that I decided not to just start painting but to sketch the compositions first. After that I coloured them in with my new colours and finally I got my results!

THE ART OF ELABORATING

What I’ve learned in the process of elaboration on your own art is that you will really get to the core of your art practice. It just won’t do to try to recreate things without really understanding them. Knowing what is going on with them. Elaborating on your art will give you such valuable insights into your own work I would highly recommend it to any artist!