I first found my artistic “voice”, what made my art unique, back in 1996. That was the year I took my first art workshop, where I just happened to learn how to 3-D a collage. Learning this simple skill ended up changing how I create, giving me a distinct twist on a commonly used art medium.
Since recommitting to my life as an artist in January 2015, however, I have been questioning whether I want to continue with this FORM of collage. Do I really want to continue 3-Ding my work, even though it has been my unique voice in the collage world for the past 20 years?
Don’t get me wrong – I love what I create, and my heart opens as I sink into my creative process each morning before starting my day job. What I don’t like is that it often takes over a year to complete a piece as I go through the time consuming process of searching for the perfect images to finish the complex story that is emerging before me.
I’ve been continually asking myself … “wouldn’t it be great to complete a collage in a day, or heck, even in a month?”.
I have fantasies about randomly throwing paper and paint on canvas, layering more paint and paper on top of that, and still more on top of that, until something unexpected and magical emerges. Sooooo…. after stalling for over a year, I have finally decided to give this type of collage a whirl.
This new journey began in earnest several weeks ago as I plunged into an on-line art class with Kelly Rae Roberts, a financially thriving artist who uses both paint and collage to create her whimsical, spirit lifting works.
The result? In just three weeks, I have completed two angel collage paintings, both of which I bravely posted on FaceBook and Instagram for the whole world to see, and were luckily received with sweet comments and encouragement! AND, I’m 3/4 through creating a third collage using my new skills and paint supplies, but without Kelly’s instruction (the picture for this post shows a detail of this piece).
Much more important than learning how to quickly create a collage (although that in itself is a miracle!), is the expanded sense of what I can do as an artist.
I never thought I could draw or paint – I’m now realizing that just isn’t so. It simply takes good instruction, a willingness to make “shitty art” until my skill develops, and lots of practice. In addition, my commitment to create at least one hour of art every day for 365 days (now on day 100!) is giving me the time and focus to explore this yummy new art medium.
I am not sure what my artistic voice will look like a year from now. Maybe I’ll be back to creating 3-D collages, and maybe not. 2016 is my year to follow my artistic yearnings, and in the process, find my unique artistic “voice” once again.