Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Collage: Christmas in Maine

I made this 5x7 inch mixed media collage last week. The intention is to cut it into four artist trading cards.

I was inspired by an L.L. Bean catalog page which I had saved depicting winter in Freeport, with ice skaters on a pond near the L.L. Bean store. Actually in real life there is no pond near the Freeport store but why ruin a nice scene?

I covered up the words on the catalog’s cover with layers of tissue paper with stars on it (at the top). At the bottom I used a list of words from an easy reader book for children learning to read. I added bits of ephemera including a bar code from an envelope that came to my house.

I was using a phone book from Maine as my collage gluing surface. If you don’t know this trick, here you are. You open an old phonebook to a clean page. You lay down the paper you need to apply adhesive to. Brush the adhesive over the item and lift it up and glue it to your artwork. When that phone book page is used up enough, turn the page and use that clean surface. It takes a long time to go through one phone book!

So I had this old phone book from Maine and decided to tear out a listing of towns and also a tiny map of Maine. I marked an ‘x’ on the map to show where my grandmother lives, the place where our family’s homestead is that I still visit many times per year.

I then went through a Dover book catalog and cut out small images to add to the piece. I chose some of Eric Sloane’s illustrations as they reminded me of Maine: axes (for cutting down a Chrsitmas tree), holly, and two barn images. Two of the images were aged/darkened using the Tim Holz ink in the color 'straw', and two were made into packing tape transfers.

I added a recipe torn from an old Betty Crocker cook book with a recipe for hot cocoa from scratch, because obviously those ice skaters would love some hot cocoa when they were finished.

Going through a stack of papers I found a colored envelope from a card that my grandmother in Maine had sent to me. Bits from that showing the words “Eastern Maine” were added. I then got on the postage them and dug out my stash of cancelled postage. I took out only holiday and Christmas themed stamps. One stamp shows a puffin which is a bird that lives on the Maine seacoast.

The lighthouse image and the church are from tourist brochures and the Maine phone book.

The piece of colorful map and the maroon colored lace were sent to me by an ATC swap participant as a thank you gift to me, the hostess (thank you Maureen!).

So there is the scan of the 5x7 inch collage. I plan to cut it up this weekend and then will scan the individual ATCs and hopefully can get those uploaded for you to see also. It is interesting how different the little artist trading cards look as individual pieces when compared to the larger sized collage.

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