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Caroline's Melange


This is where I'll be posting Collage 101 text and also short story ideas.
Jan/21/2009, 7:44 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
carolinex Profile
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Collage 101 blog


If you have any ideas--proofing, editing, questions, things to add, whatever, I would really appreciate hearing about it.

I begin the blog with my Collage Manifesto, and a very brief history of collage. Please let me know if you are interested in my posting these here also.

Next this...

Collecting Colors: A Dream

Recently, I dreamed that I was a student in an art class myself and we were assigned to take a swatch of every color in the rooms. There were several rooms full of colorful stuff. Imagine a group of people with scissors taking snips of everything–from the curtains, the lamps, upholstery, carpets, baskets, each others clothes. Someone even had a collection of pink plastics.

I was reluctant to be destructive, so I focused on papers. (What a concept!) I found stack of magazines to cut from. I wondered, do I select a pure color for each swatch, or muddy them up with portions of images and text? And why we were supposed to do this?

Creating from Dreams

I often find dreams useful in making art and poetry. This dream struck me as being about seeing. When I got up that morning I was overwhelmed at the vast number of colors in my home and studio space. If only I could take snippets of everything, there would be a full spectrum.

But the dream also suggested collecting colors could be door into beginning collage. How does one begin collecting colors short of cutting up your own couch or curtains? A good place to start is with free and recyclable materials.

Become a Color Collector

If the idea of collecting colors appeals to you...

What can be easily cut with scissors, is free, recyclable and readily available? The obvious answer is magazines. Almost everyone has a few old magazines around. I will be discussing all about how to find magazines to collect from soon.

Other source materials might be leftover fabric, old clothes, sewing scraps, wrapping paper, junk mail, or paint swatches from the paint store. You might want to paint your own colors with watercolors or use crayons. You could even document colors in your surroundings with your own camera.

I am a rice paper aficianado and willing to spend for these. Available in art suppy stores and Asian markets, they come in every color and can be so beautiful.

Cutting Swatches

Will you cut your swatches in squares, circles or irregular shapes? Maybe you will prefer to tear them? I had one student who only liked torn edges. Do you want only solid colors or will you include bits of text or patterns?

You can keep your colors in file folders by name or by temperature. Warm colors are red, yellow and orange, these tend to jump forward like a stop sign. Cools are your blues, greens and purples: these usually recede like the sky. Notice how many shades of browns, blacks and whites. Which is the real white?

I will offer many ideas for using your colors, but don't worry about that for now, just enjoy color.
Jan/21/2009, 7:53 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


This is pretty darn cool, Caroline. Is this how you begin the process? (Is process even the right word for what you do?) I think you are saying it all begins with a dream. Yes/No? Is this always the case? And I can see you swatch hunting. The hunt itself must be an integral part of the final creation, and I wonder if it too can get expressed. Is it always made with color in mind? Or there are other parameters? I think I get what you are trying to tell your students when you end by saying, "but don't worry about that now, just enjoy color." The implication, for me at least, is that color is its own habitat, world, or environment. And that the student must first be oriented to color as its own world.

About your manifesto. Didn't you once give it over at Lily's a couple of years ago? I for one would like to see again what you say. And about the history of collage making. I know, or think I know, that the montage was first invented by the German Expressionist painters of the WW1 generation, right? So what is the history of the collage?

I very much want to read what you have to say about coming up with ideas for using colors. Thanks for this. It is fun.

Tere
Jan/24/2009, 2:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Hhm. Thanks for all your interest and questions Tere.
Process is the perfect word.

This was a dream I had recently and I thought it was so odd how it might relate to this new blog. Maybe I need to clarify that you have to start somewhere, and this just struck me as a good place to start.

Color is really important, the way colors relate to each other. Usually I find the colors to a piece as I go. But in this case, I am thinking of suggesting to create a background of color and then creating another layer of imagery. I will show this in upcoming segments.

Sometimes I use dreams, but actually, I find more often dreams work for poems. More often with collages it is daydreams about something I have already started that provide guidance.

So, I'll upload the other posts now.

Jan/24/2009, 6:05 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
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Re: Caroline's Melange


I can't easily copy the links. I've made the collage 101 website private for now, but I think I can provide access if you like.

Last edited by carolinex, Feb/16/2009, 3:15 pm
Jan/24/2009, 7:01 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Hi Caroline,

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get to this. I followed the link to your Aerial Dreams blogspot, and I love all the images and poems you have posted there. I collect cat pins, and I wish your "angel" images were pins so I could collect them as well. They are simply stunning. I have bookmarked your Runaway Moon blogspot and am looking forward to spending some time there. I hope that you are planning to have some examples of your own work on hand when you give the class on collage!

What I like about the collage entry here is the way you make the process personal, accessible and fun (enjoyed the humorous touches). I like the distinction you make between an "artist statement" and an "artist manifesto". When I think of manifestos, I tend to think of something rather dry and formal, but you seem to have merged the two types of statements in a way that prevents that from happening and I like that.

Thanks for sharing the links. They are a real treat. emoticon
Feb/9/2009, 3:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Kaitlin,

Thanks so much for your careful viewing. I was thinking maybe I should hide the 101 blog for a bit, since I am SO Slow. I had thought I would do at least one post a month, but I'm not even making that.

It is not as much fun to write as I had hoped. But now I'm thinking it might have potential as an income generating book (in my old age, at this rate ;o)

I might include a few of my collages there and other people's too. I thought of this for the next step of the colors exercise.

My framer made magnets of some older collages. She said it's really not worth the effort though. She makes small color xerox prints that she sells for cheap. I've thought of starting an Etsy site to sell these, but that doesn't seem worth the effort for me. With the arrangement we have, she does all the work and even mats them, and I still receive 60%.

I am thinking about applying for a grant to experiment with giclees for the Aerial Dreams. This is a lot more expensive sort of print than the color xerox, but the quality is a lot better too. I just did one and it turned out really pretty.

Problem is, I am a horrible self-marketer, just can't seem to motivate...I just like making things.

Last edited by carolinex, Mar/9/2009, 3:21 pm
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Re: Caroline's Melange


deleted for now. Thanksfor the feedback. Im afraid this has gone to the back burner.

Last edited by carolinex, Feb/16/2010, 4:40 pm
Feb/16/2009, 3:13 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Goodie, goodie, goodie. Thank you, Caroline, for taking the time to post your story. I am writing on the run right now. But I will be back, my friend, to slowly read what you got here.

Tere
Feb/16/2009, 4:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Thank you Tere. Do take your time.
Feb/16/2009, 9:48 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
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Re: Caroline's Melange


I made one last edit. I wrote this a few years ago and it was pretty flabby and cliche. I'll stop now. emoticon
Feb/17/2009, 12:02 am Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Much enjoyed, Caroline. "gridlings," that says it all. Interesting that in this world of grids and cubes, the protagonist makes her living by knitting. Such an old-fashioned, hand-made and personal craft. "The Close Knitters Collective"...sounds utterly subversive in your depersonalized, futuristic setting. About as subversive as the few, remaining birds.

Thanks for posting.

Chris
Feb/19/2009, 4:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
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Thank you for reading Chris! I'm glad it works for you. I got the knitter idea as there is a mini knitting movement, I think women needing to go back to something really slow and made by hand.
Feb/21/2009, 5:28 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Wrenfriend, this is an absolute delight to read. So much to comment on. The futuristic touch, for example, is convincing to me because of how familiarly it is treated. There is almost a domesticity to much of the jargon. Gridlings indeed. And, my favorite, G-bills. The story has movement. Twice over, now that I think about, and in the same direction: the bird (I bet it is a house sparrow) flying from inside out, and the protaganist following its lead, also flying from the inside out. And dressing Pearl as a segue between the two environments is a nice touch. (Purple cowboy boots makes me smile. It is almost like Randy Newman telling his girl friend to leave her hat on.) Then there is the contrast between the drabness of the city and the colorfulness of the two characters. And with the grace of subtle humor. And the touch of coloring Pearl's mood red is really fine. Mind you, I am a sucker for love stories. But this one has just the right touch, what with how everything is suggested, hinted at. Last thing is maybe the most important. The story gets told as much through the language's tone as through description.

Every time I think I get a sense of your writing you surprise me. I always dig surprises of the sort.

Thank you, my friend, for showing us your story. I know you have to be careful with your time at the keyboard. So I appreciate the time you've taken to get the story onto the screen. It is absolutely fun reading.

Tere

(As a side note, Caroline, I have to tell you the story made me think of my daughter. I lost her some years ago to a full disability. In her good months, however, she is able to meet with other women and I think a couple of guys too for knitting sessions. With a smile she always calls them stitch and !@#$ sessions. Thanks.)

Tere again

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/7/2009, 3:57 pm
Mar/7/2009, 3:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: Caroline's Melange


Oh Tere, I am sorry to read about your daughter. How nice that the knitter made a connection for you.

I'm so glad you like this. I can always count on your honest thumbs up or down. If you have any suggestions for changes, I welcome that. I just read a story by Jamaica Kincaid and was feeling all envious of her.

I'm working on another gridling setting story and have been debating if I want to be more subtle about it. I finally decided I have to write the thing and then decide.

I am even less available by computer now as mine just pooped out. I'm hoping one will drop on my doorstep. Anyway, this will work itself in time. Meanwhile, I'll stop by as I can.

Thank you for your kind reading!

Caroline
Mar/10/2009, 3:46 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Now I get to look forward to another gridling story!! How cool is that?

Immediately, I can think of now weaknesses in your story. Character portraits are evokative, bringing the two characters over to me. Language gives tone. Story hands together organically. About the only suggestion I can think of it that, if you choose to, the story could be further developed. The idea is strong enough to accomodate more story. Or what about thinking of a series of stories of similar length involving, or predicated on, your two gridlings? The characters are likable and engaging. Or what about this? A series of graphic stories; you know, comic book like.

So now I will a imagine a pc on your doorstep soon.

Tere
Mar/10/2009, 6:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Hi Caroline,

Fun not-too-futuristic story. I enjoyed all the little details you "woven" into the piece. As Tere pointed out, the story has momentum, but it also has texture, which I really liked.

The ending works, but I could also see the story continuing. Or as Tere suggested, I could see this as one in a series of interconnected stories.

Only nit I have is in this section:

quote:

"I have a blanket in the trunk,” Jet offered. It was the color of straw yet silky soft and clearly hand knit. Pearl assumed it was made by his previous girlfriend but decided to wait to ask.

They pulled off the road and went to sit on the grass, basting in a sunny spot. Pearl stretched on her back.



Pearl knows what the blanket looks and feels like before they pull off the road to get it out of the trunk. You could just move the description of the blanket down to the place where Pearl stretches out on it.

Thanks for posting this, Caroline. Enjoyed.
Mar/11/2009, 3:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
carolinex Profile
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I don't know about continuing these characters Tere, but I was initially planning something like that. I just don't know that I am invested enough in this. Part of me really doesn't want to write a lot of "comic book" style. But there's a few more...keeping wishing on that computer. emoticon

Hi Katlin,

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. That was a good catch and easy fix! Glad you enjoyed,
Mar/14/2009, 3:44 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 


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