Before I started focusing extensively on making collage art, I was a painter. I studied painting back in college, and during my freshman year, I had an assignment to create a still life series that used a different technique for each painting. I decided to make a series of bell peppers, and my first painting (pictured above), was meant to mimic the style of Vincent van Gogh.
My next painting focused on only using the complimentary colors orange and blue.
The next piece in the series used arbitrary color. Blue is actually one of my favorite colors, so it was only fitting that I used blue for this particular piece.
And lastly, I made a painting using more natural colors. I decided to make the piece look flatter so I could simplify the overall composition even more.
Before I was immersed in studying painting in college, I made quite a few acrylic paintings in high school. This piece was part of a series I made where I played around with using color to convey different moods. As you can see here, I used cool colors to convey a somber tone. I also painted the background a dark color that I lightened up a bit by painting a thin layer of white paint over it.
I made this oil pastel self portrait drawing during my sophomore year of college. At that time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes. It’s also around the time I decided that I was going to pick up art as a double major, instead of just minoring in it.
I really enjoyed working on the face and eyes for this piece, although the hand was a bit of a struggle. I thought it was fitting to share a piece from my past, to illustrate how much your work can change and develop over time. Your work won’t always be “perfect” or turn out the way you’d like it to, but each new work of art you make will help you grow a little more as an artist.
I made this charcoal drawing during my sophomore year of college. At the time, I was taking quite a few studio art classes, and often stayed at the studio pretty late working on artwork. Still life has always been a subject matter I’ve struggled with, simply because I haven’t found it to be all that exciting (I was more interested in figurative artwork or animal portraits). I thought this particular still life was a little unusual since it involved an animal skull, instead of the usual bowl of fruit or empty kitchenware. I also enjoyed working with charcoal since it can get pretty messy, which keeps things interesting.
Although I started making collages back when I was in high school, I didn’t start getting serious about the medium until I was in college. “Heels” is a collage that I made in my free time outside of the painting classes I had to take as a painting major.
For this piece, I played around with using different patterns and textures, while still using some solid bits of color for the floor and wall in the background. Working on collages like this one is exactly what kept me interested in pursuing collage as a medium for my artwork.
I made this mixed media piece back when I was in college. The assignment was to pick an object, and then repeat it multiple times while treating each version of the image in a different way. Since I was studying painting at the time, whenever I had assignments in my other studio art classes, I turned them into opportunities to work with collage. Here I used magazine cutouts, as well as fabric, thread, acrylic paint, color pencil, graphite, and oil pastel. I also remember having a lot of fun trying to come up with different ways of tackling the same subject. This might actually be a good exercise for me to explore sometime this year, just to kickstart and inspire my art-making process.
This is a mixed media painting that I made back when I was home for the summer during college. I used magazine cutouts, acrylic paint, a broken CD, thread, and felt. I made this during a time when I was going through a phase where I’d stitch cloth or other canvas onto paintings, sort of creating a collaged painting in a way. This painting has always been a favorite of mine, and to this day it hangs on a wall in my home.
Here’s a self portrait mixed media painting that I did during my freshman year of college. If you look closely, you can see that I incorporated magazine cutouts in the hoodie. I also layered paper and painted over it to add texture to the street, buildings, and background. I used a lot of thick paint, and added even more texture with my palette knife.
This was made during a time when I was trying to find ways to incorporate collage into my paintings. At my college, I had to pick a specific concentration in art, and since collage wasn’t an option, I went for the next best thing – painting.
This was the first painting that I did in a series of still life paintings back in college. I call them the “Reflective Still Life Studies,” since I played around with painting glass and the reflection of objects in mirrors. Since this was the first painting in the series, you can see that the strokes seem a little forced and uncertain. I was just getting the hang of mixing colors and painting still life, so it wasn’t until I got to the second painting in the series when the compositions flowed together a little better.
Back in college I kept a few sketchbooks where I’d work on studies of various subjects. This color pencil drawing is from one of those sketchbooks, when I was studying different expressions for my upcoming series of collage portraits for my senior thesis. I was also playing around with different color schemes, which is why this is done with cool colors.