August 12th, 2005
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the discarded bits

I had to laugh when I was asked about my collage techniques and materials. Two weeks ago I realized that I had put all of my paints into the car (along with all of my other precious items, books, clothes, journals, quilts), and sent them off with my husband to California. I noticed when I sat down to do a painting that i only had what was left on my pallete, (goache), a some old watercolor tubes (windsor newton), and a few cans of house paint (Home Hardware). It amazes me how inventive I have been with the mixing of colors, (watercolor blended with the house paint).
I prefer not to buy paper for my work, but rather to find it in the world, (though I have bought some at times, exercise books, japanese paper, vintage magagzines). I like the idea of aquiring it “in the midst of living” because it becomes more about my daily life process, (going to the mail and finding a yellow envelope, eating chinese food and saving the chopstick wrapper, being drawn to a texture in a magazine). The piece above has some dried pink flower leaves that I collected while walking through a greenhouse. The ‘spririt lamp’ box was my dad’s when he was in college, (it was an old alcohol lamp used for a chemistry class). They all have associations for me.
But the thing I am most draw to lately is the ‘offcuts’, (the pieces laying on the floor after I have cut up other things). Right now I look down and find many beautiful little pieces to use. Something about them is more random, uncalculated, natural. But it might also be that they are the pieces one might throw away, the garbage. That is where the good stuff lies, digging in the dirt. The further I progress with the series the more of them you will see.

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