TECHNIQUE (HOW DO I MAKE THE COLLAGES?) :: The collages are made with laser printed color copies, gesso (white paint mixture that is often used for priming canvases), and thread. I also often draw with mechanical pencils and ink on top of the images. I occasionally will use gouache, pastels, oil paints, and watercolors. I work in an old book that I have made into a painted journal. The larger collages are created on stretched canvases.
I upload or scan images and scale them in Photoshop. Then, I use a ‘wallpaper’ method to adhere the images to the surface. I put gesso on the back of the paper that I want to tack down and then smooth it on the gessoed canvas or paper with a wet paper towel.
Sometimes, I want to fit a block of color or an object in a specific spot. In that case, I use tracing paper to map the shape. I also use plenty of painter’s tape to place objects before I ‘glue’ them down. Occasionally, I’ll use Photoshop to try different things with the composition, but more often than not, I just end up layering the images until it works.
I generally don’t wait to stitch on the images as a last step to the collage. I stitch as I go and sometimes end up covering stitches with more paper. Stitching requires me to first poke holes around the image so I have a guide. Then, I shine a light behind the paper or canvas so I can see where to stitch. To ‘seal’ the final image, I use a spray fixative.