About Torn Paper Collage
When I remember my favorite activities as a
child, I realize that I was always interested in creating things and
I loved activity books that had pictures to cut out and paste. When
I first tried paper collage in a class on creativity, I was immediately
attracted to it. The night after that class a friend came to dinner
and brought me a flowering plant. I woke up in the middle of the night
planning how I would do a collage of it. The collage was underway before
I started seeing design possibilities everywhere.
As the flowers in my garden came into bloom, I began making pictures
of them in torn paper. The
Geisha collage resulted from my reading Memoirs of a Geisha.
I became a serious collector of interesting paper.
Before I found this medium, I had been painting in
oils. I had planned to paint a portrait of a friend and neighbor, but
decided instead to see if I could do it in torn paper. David is the result. For this collage I used only papers that had some relevance
to my subject, so it is a very personal portrait. I like to incorporate
papers that have significance to the subject, for example Japanese papers
in The Geisha and the portrait Jack Maki, or that create
a hidden visual pun, for instance a small flock of birds on one of the
birds of paradise in Ikebana I. I am happy and surprised to see how
enthusiastic other people have been about my collages. When I brought
slides of my work to Italy to share with my painting teacher and classmates,
the collages got a wonderful response and the artist-teacher told me
I was clearly in my element.
I am excited by the possibilities for what can be
done in paper and there are so many more effects in torn paper collage
that I want to explore. I find so many beautiful bits of paper that
keep me inspired. I have sketches of ideas that I hope to work on sometime,
plus I store images in my head, but some of the excitement comes from
spontaneous choices and serendipitous things that happen in the creation
of a collage. There is no such thing as an accident when I’m tearing
the paper I want to use. If my tear goes awry, it is an opportunity
to find some more interesting alternative. Sometimes the smallest fragment
of paper can be important so I keep it all. I guess this makes me a
consummate recycler. For me, the fascinating thing in torn paper collage
is to find the ways bits of paper which had one meaning can be torn
apart and combined to form beautiful new images.