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.

ARTIST SIGNATURE STYLE FOUND AND HOW I DID IT

On the brink of 2021 I found my artist signature style: colourful collages with lots of layers and playful compositions. After two years of fiercely experimenting with everything I could lay my hands on it suddenly stroke. I am supposed to make what comes naturally!

my artist signature style that I found on the brink of 2021: colourful collages
my artist signature style that I found on the brink of 2021: colourful collages
my artist signature style that I found on the brink of 2021: colourful collages

YOUR ARTIST SIGNATURE USUALLY COMES NATURALLY

Colourful collages are always sneaking up on me. When I’m taking a day off, when I am abroad during a summer holiday, when I am on a train… If I have some scissors with me and some paper they will emerge from my hands even if I’m absent minded.

me with my favourite tool: my ancient scissors - the fran 2021
colour coded botanical shapes by the fran 2021
old art cut up to make new collages by the fran 2021

HOW I FOUND MY ARTIST SIGNATURE

During the last weeks of 2020 I was practically exhausted. A week earlier I moved into my new art studio and my husband had just told me that he also wanted to move to a new home. And I was like: are you kidding me? Can a person just enjoy one week in her life without any drastic changes? Apparently not. Even so I kept on going to my studio every morning. Not expecting anything extraordinary to happen. But just to be surrounded by my art. Bracing myself for everything that was about to change in 2021.

After two weeks I found myself making collages. And it escalated quickly. Within a week I made 45 of them and at first I really didn’t know what hit me! Wasn’t I tired of 2020? Wasn’t I trying to save my energy for all those things my husband cooked up? Apparently I was! And apparently I needed to make collages to feel energized and ready again.

That’s how it goes apparently: you can’t force your artist signature style to happen. Neither can you actively search for it. The only thing you can do is to make art like a maniac and it will find you eventually. Maybe I do need to add the tip ‘notice what you want to to/make when you’re exhausted and need a break’ to my earlier blog post about How to find your signature style as an artist.

2021: BRING IT ON!

So here we are: from now on I will make colourful collages with hand cut botanical shapes. And no virus or lockdown or social distancing or husband with life changing plans can stop me.

artist signature: colourful collages by the fran visual artist 2021
artist signature: handcut botanical shapes  by the fran visual artist 2021
artist signature style: colourful collages in the studio by the fran visual artist 2021

LUXEMBOURG ART PRIZE 2020

It’s official: I am a contestant of the Luxembourg Art Prize of 2020!

luxembourg art prize 2020 logo

WHAT’S THE LUXEMBOURG ART PRIZE?

The Luxembourg Art Prize is a prize for emerging and more established international artists. It’s organised by La Pinacotheque a museum in Luxembourg every year and it features great international attention.

HAPPY HABITS FOR THE LUXEMBOURG ART PRIZE 2020

I have submitted my relatively new mixed media works of the Happy Habits series. Because these works transcend my earlier works in style, material and artistic approach. And, more importantly, because these works are my most personal so far. They deal with the perfectionism I’ve suffered from for years. These artworks transform my perfectionist habits into new, healthier ones and in a way they serve as transformational art.

Happy Habits mixed media collages series – my Luxembourg Art Prize 2020 submission.

Beside the 16 artworks I’ve also submitted the short accompanying poems I wrote for every artwork. Scroll down to see and read them all in detail.

MY ARTISTIC APPROACH

It took some time to complete my application, because of all the kind of difficult questions they asked me to answer. Like: what’s your artistic practice? And what are recurrent themes in your work? Though these were tough questions they already proved very valuable. Getting the right specific questions about your work and your artistic vision really makes a difference. It has inspired me to think and feel about this and to put this into words the best way I could. (You can also find this on my About page.)

My artistic approach can be summarized by three themes: energy, the boldness of nature and this human life.

Energy

As a child with a restrictive religious upbringing I wasn’t allowed to go to art school nor to pursue any kind of creative career. Obviously not a very rebellious child I obeyed but I got very unhappy with life, myself and the choices I made. After graduating it took me 6 years to discover I had to shake off all these restrictive convictions about what life’s supposed to be. So I didn’t paint until I was 30 and since then I feel this sort of incredible urgency in creating, in catching up with myself. That urgency gives my work energy and electricity. It makes my work pure, spontaneous, direct and bold.

The boldness of nature

Nature inspires me with her unapologetic colours, shapes, diversity and versatility. The same kind of inspiration I find in the work of Swedish artist Malin Gabriella Nordin and Canadian artist Sarah Hughes. Nature is the only place where I can feel truly relaxed and energetic at the same time. It inspires my work as well as my artistic approach. It teaches me to not try to fit into styles or boxes but to grow like a massive rhododendron tree and reach up to the sky.

Nature also inspires me to create my own universe, just like Yayoi Kusama. That’s why I translate my paintings into fabric patterns and print them on carpets, fabrics, scarves and cushion covers. That way people can really immerse themselves in the exotic bold energy of nature. I try to capture that energy in all colours I am able to create with my three primary colours + black and white. Mixing colours is one of the core practices of my work. It takes me away to coral reefs, botanic gardens and tropical forests. So while creating my own colourful universe I travel the whole wide world in my mind.

This human life

In my artistic energy I feel like the love baby of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. With my work I want to dance between the total bliss of carefree joie de vivre and the inevitable pain and sorrow that come with living this human life. I wish to lift people up and comfort them. We are together in this and all emotions are valid to feel and express.

MY SUBMISSION FOR THE LUXEMBOURG ART PRIZE 2020

I really feel this new work sums up my artistic approach quite nicely: because of the fast nature of making collages I can follow my energetic inspiration completely (like: scrambling a composition together, immediately seeing whether it works or not and accordingly starting from scratch or keeping it). Furthermore it is inspired by organic, botanical shapes because I want these new habits to flow through me as opposed to the more harsh perfectionist ones that block my flow. And since they are so personal they dance between the pain (perfectionism) and my innate zest for life.

Joy

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits

It’s so easy to regret
All the joy that I forget
But how about the joy
Of rediscovering it once more
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Playfulness

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits

Give it to me good and bad
Light and dark happy and sad
Don’t you play it down one bit
Oh come on just let me play with it
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

High-spirited

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits
Bold adventures exotic places
I want to meet beautiful faces
Foods I never taste before
All of this and much much more
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Pleasure

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits
A swan pond covered in spring green
Let us wander there unseen
Share the bliss the energy
And feel limitlessly free
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Rebellion

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits
I won’t show my aberration
In civilized conversation
But when you’ll get to know my core
You are gonna hear me roar
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Movement

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits

Just like a creeper on the wall
I want to explore it all
Keep growing developing some style
And maybe bloom once in a while
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Flexibility

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits
If the current carries me
I’ll move along wholeheartedly
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Unity

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 happy habits
Let’s befriend all sides of me
The one who’s sad and its bully
Even the scared shitless angry child
From no on we are reconciled
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Spontaneity

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new habits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
Flavours I’ve never taste before
Passion fruit ice cream in that store
Let’s try some cake as well you know
Where would you like to go tomorrow
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Bliss

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new habits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
Can you see my inner child
Deep in the jungle hidden in the wild
I’ll keep her there for good measure
There she will play and dance forever
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Freshness

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
Out with the old in with the new
Fetch me a cup pour me a brew
Whisky or vodka anything’ll do
As long as it tastes fresh and new
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Receptivity

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
Because the things I can come up with
Are nothing
Compared to the universal width
That’s why I say yes please
Surprise me
There’s so much that I could not see
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Freedom

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
This life is mine and mine alone
I won’t wait and won’t postpone
All the things are meant for me
How about being that free
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Softness

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
I feel I understand just now
So let me say no matter how
The truth hurts me I will vow
To stay soft with you somehow
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Carefreeness

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism uxembourg art prize 2020 submission
I trust life and I trust you
There’s nothing to it this will do
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

Light-heartedness

mixed media collages by the fran original artwork 2020 new traits to heal my perfectionism luxembourg art prize 2020 submission
Happy in the here and now
I don’t want to start a row
So fly with me between the flowers
And forget about the hours
Mixed media collage, 21 x 29.7 cm.

AND NOW WE WAIT

Because of COVID-19 the application period has been extended until the 31th of August 2020. The nominated artists will be notified before September 30th. If I am nominated I will be part of an art exhibition in La Pinacotheqe from November 2020 until April 2021. Of course you would be cordially invited if that would be the case. Fingers crossed and I keep you posted!

NEW WORK IN MY ART STUDIO

Who would have thought my first new work in my art studio would be collages? I for one didn’t!

Check out my Happy Habits mixed media collages in detail.

Check out my New & Familiar mixed media composition in detail.

new work collages the fran art studio the fran zone
new work by the fran art studio the fran zone

I was tidying my cupboard and discovered the two collages I made a year ago during art class. My art teacher encouraged me to start making collages. To try out new forms, shapes and different colour schemes. At first I was stubborn of course and I didn’t see the need.

Until I started cutting. I discovered I LOVE cutting coloured paper and who’s worried about ‘need’ when you’re having fun? I might have known though, because I loved cutting paper as a child and always made paper doilies. You know the drill? Fold a paper until you got a small square. Then cut it up, make little holes and tiny shapes, but maintain the integrity of the paper. Fold it open and voila: there is your paper doily!

So before I knew it there were 16 collages lying on the floor of my new art studio. That escalated quickly and I didn’t see that one coming…

new work collages by the fran art studio the fran zone
cut up paper from making collages

NEW WORK WITH A FAMILIAR TOUCH

I used watercolour paper, ‘normal’ paper, crayons, East-Indian ink and coloured ink. To me they feel new and familiar at the same time. The technique is new but I used my own shapes inspired by anything botanical and organic swirls.

The next day I wanted to explore the idea further. I coloured all the paper I had left and made ink drawings on the back. After that I started cutting. I made you a short time lapse video of that (check out my YouTube channel for one more):

Within 2 hours I had 16 more! They differ from the first ones in two ways:

The second batch are all artworks in their own right while the first 16 ones together are more than the sum of their parts. The colour shemes are brighter and each one got a lot more going on than the first 16.

For the second batch I used paper I had previously used to write down all the nasty habits surrounding my perfectionism. Habits I wanted to leave behind in 2019 and not take with me in 2020. When I found them last week at first I thought ‘let’s just throw them away’. But then I decided to transform them into art. Because that’s something I try to do every time: transform something personal into art. That’s why the second batch has titles like ‘Resilience’, ‘Flexibility’ and ‘Pleasure’. They are the opposites of the nasty habits I cut up.

new work collages by the fran art studio the fran zone den bosch francine orsel
francine orsel the fran art studio the fran zone new work collages

NEW WORK AVAILABLE TROUGH ARTIST SUPPORT PLEDGE

collage by the fran, black ink, coloured ink and crayon on different kinds of layered paper, A4, available for purchase 200 euros including frame and worldwide shipping
collage by the fran, black ink, coloured ink and crayon on different kinds of layered paper, A4, available for purchase 200 euros including frame and worldwide shipping

The 16 collages of the second batch are all available trough the Artist Support Pledge. Read more about this genius initiative. Please contact me if you’re interested because I haven’t put them in my shop yet.

Their specs: black ink, coloured ink and crayon on layers of different paper (water colour paper, drawing paper, sketch paper) size A4, €200,- including frame and worldwide shipping.

If you enter The Fran Zone first you’ll get 10% off your first artwork. That means you only pay €180,-. Join today!

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The first batch of 16 collages I offer as a whole. It comes framed and will be approximately 110 x 150 cm. Its specs: black ink, coloured ink and crayon on layers of different paper (water colour paper, drawing paper, sketch paper) size A4, €1700,- including frame and worldwide shipping. Please contact me if you’re interested.

collage art by the fran available for purchase black ink, coloured ink and crayon on different kinds of paper, 110x150cm 1700 euros including frame and worldwide shipping

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What do you think of them? Do you have a favourite? Do you like the first batch or the second batch the most? Is there a colour combo that speaks to you? Would love to hear your feedback!

Now, onward with other new work. Because I have lift off and my urges to create are back with a vengeance!

close up collages francine orsel the fran art studio the fran zone
close up collages the fran francine orsel art studio the fran zone