Sunday, May 17, 2015

Our Ladies Of The Ephemera

Through mutual friends, I have recently had the good fortune to meet a very talented artist who has now become my friend.  She paints, she sculpts, she creates beautiful pieces using mixed media.  A few months ago a group of us asked her to teach us the art of collage.  (I did more than ask.  I begged.)

Michelle generously agreed to teach us about mixed media collage.  We set up two dates to work in her studio.  Our job was to pick a theme and bring photos, mementos, magazines and pictures that supported our vision.

The night before each lesson, I grabbed a big bag of mementos of our vacations in Paris and New York City from my bedroom closet.  Metro tickets, museum passes, receipts, maps, postcards, photographs.  You name it, I had it.  I was excited.  I was ready for this!

Then I got to Michelle's studio and stood at her table with a blank canvas in front me.  I had absolutely no idea how to start, which pieces of ephemera to use, what looked good or even what looked bad.

But with lots of editing and lots of moving things around on my canvas and LOTS OF HELP from Michelle (she held my hand every step of the way) I was able to create two collages I was pretty happy with.

Michelle showed me new ways of seeing things.  Different ways of seeing things.  She showed me how to place things in various ways and ask myself, "How about this?  How about that?"

Let me tell you, this process is not easy for me.  It was painstaking.  Each of these collages took me over 5 hours to create.  Seriously?!?  Ten hours to produce these two pieces of art?

"Kudos to you guys!  I believe what I said about courage. For me, it doesn't look like Joan of Arc riding out to save the French with her messages from God and her armour. And it doesn't look like a TED talk that gets 5,000,000 hits. 

For me it just feels like what we did last night.  Just standing in front of a blank canvas and a pile of ephemera with an idea of where we want to go and not knowing quite how that is going to happen. But doing it anyways. Liking squares and rectangles and cutting out something round. Because that's life. It's fun and there are fun people to meet along the way and the inspiration of getting the "light bulb" moments feels pretty good.

I am so happy to be daring greatly with you! To be sharing my studio with such intrepid explorers."
                                                                                Michelle Henderson Topp

Thank you Michelle for welcoming us into your studio with open arms.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  The teaching, the learning, the laughs, the wine.  I can hardly wait for our next lesson!

No comments:

Post a Comment