My Wee Little Collage Tree

Reading Time: 3 minutes

12″ x 12″
Japanese Paper & Acrylic on Canvas

As already established in the post about the painting I hate, I learned a while ago how much I like to tear paper like a happy hamster. Not too long before I made this piece, a friend of mine was kind enough to take me to a local art store to load up on new Japanese Papers that I could chew up into art.

It was a little hamster heaven for me.

I was full of so many joyful wiggles my friend couldn’t help but laugh at me.

Then, I took my apartment operational for about 4 or 5 days. Picture, if you will, the scene in Iron Man 2 when Tony Stark uses the information his dad hid inside a map to create a new element…

Only with a lot less structural damage…

At this point in my life, in a 2 bedroom condo, I move the furniture around in my living room and set myself up on the floor to make art. Snugged up close to the sliding glass doors which, despite their northern exposure, still provide a lot of soft, even light during the day. Larger canvases lean against the coffee table, smaller ones usually sit on plastic in my lap.

When I do collage like this I am literally surrounded by paper in a semicircle all around me… I don’t have a picture of the full semi-circle for this one but all the torn and cut leaf and bark pieces were toward the right along with brushes and mixed paint trays (in this case old sushi delivery containers). To the left there was my big bin of paints and the half-letter-sized envelopes full of colour-organized Japanese Paper.

One of the fur babies decided to help as only fur babies can:

Things progressed to the finished product from this starting place:

The finishing touch, for me, was the “knot” in the tree and the smaller leaves on the right, under the main canopy.

Every once in a while I see the whole shape of a piece in my mind. This pretty much never happens to me when I’m writing fiction of any kind. With fiction I am always chasing fragments in a way that is like herding cats uphill through tar…

With visual art, for whatever reason, all the elements sometimes just seem to play nicely. I’m not saying it always happens this way… But even my visual art pieces that I *know* aren’t great still seem to have all their pieces… If that makes sense?

Maybe it’s because with visual art I usually have some sense of the scale and foundational shape of things; I can actually imagine the whole so I at least know where the parts will (must?) fit.

I dunno’.

I do know that – unlike the painting I hate (which has since been torn to ribbons in a fit of creative/destructive glee) – I actually like this painting.

It sits right in front of where I work in a cluster of paintings that bring joy to me and help me hold joy close until I tumble into another creative project head first and smiling.

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