I had a lot of fun working on this collage, and I’ve been getting a lot of joy from working on my latest series of minimalist desserts. I think I was previously focusing too much on animal portraits, and having more change in my routine helps get the creativity flowing. I’m planning to make a few more pieces for this series before changing gears again. It’s been fun trying to find new ways to sharpen my collage-making skills.
This piece of cake was pieced together rather smoothly. I think the most difficult part was trying to get the coloring for the background to work the way I wanted it to. Initially it was a more vibrant pink, although I wanted to find colors that were more subdued so that the cake itself would stand out more. You can also see that I focused more on finding solid colors from the magazine strips I layered, with only a few bits of texture.
If you’ve followed my blog, you’ve probably noticed that the vast majority of my work focuses on wildlife. I’ve always had an affinity to animals, and I suppose that’s why time and time again, I’ve been drawn to making animal collages. However, lately I’ve wanted to change things up a bit. So right now I’m tackling a series of minimalist still life work, that explores various desserts.
At some point I’ll want to explore other aspects of still life compositions, but for now, I’m going to keep it sweet with my focus on sweets.
Over the past few months, I’ve made animal collage after animal collage. Animals have always been a favorite subject of mine, but I’m realizing that I need to change things up a bit more, and focus on other subjects that I’m not as comfortable with.
Still life has always been a subject that I haven’t enjoyed tackling all that much, and I’ve had a tendency of avoiding it or not trying to see how I can make it more interesting. As an artist, if I truly want to grow and develop my skills in new ways, it’s best to get out of my comfort zone so I can see what happens.
This piece is the start of a series of food collages. First, I’m focusing on desserts where I plan to use more of a minimalist composition. And of course, I had to include a pun in the title for this piece. After all, donut worry, be happy 🙂
I haven’t explored collaging different dog breeds all that much, so the other day I figured I’d tackle a Collie portrait. I decided to use a simplified background with a warmer green, to create more of a contrast between the Collie and the background. I worked in bits of texture as well as solid colors, and I like how this dog seems to be smiling.
It’s always good to explore different ways to tackle a medium. Sometimes I like to work with more patterns and textures in the magazine strips I use, while other times I like to focus mainly on solid colors. Other times I have no idea what direction I’ll lean towards, and that element of surprise is all the more reason why I continue to make collages.
Long haired dachshunds are one of my favorite kind of dogs. This portrait was made as a gift for my boyfriend’s parents who got a long haired dachshund earlier this year. Their dachshund is a beautiful puppy who has a lot of energy, and I wanted to see how I could capture her likeness in collage form.
It might be fun to explore different dog breeds in the future. But I suppose at the moment, I’ve got my hands full trying to tackle a number of projects. That’s one of the many great aspects of being an artist – having more ideas than you know what to do with.
The other day, I wanted to get started on a new collage. I’ve been thinking that I really need to revisit still life, portraiture, or landscapes again since I’ve been focusing primarily on animals. But then I remembered how much fun it is to make animal collages, so I decided to tackle a koala collage again.
Working on this little guy wasn’t easy. I found myself realizing that koalas are pretty strange looking creatures – they look almost like mice with their rounded ears, and their noses are quite unique and unusual. I think I just haven’t really studied the features of a koala all that much, and realized that I was getting tripped up over the details in their quirky characteristics. Eventually I was able to layer the magazine strips in such a way that I was satisfied with the result. This piece is done…for now.
I’ve always thought rhinos were fascinating animals. They look like aliens in many ways, and for that reason, I thought I’d focus on their peculiar appearance when naming this piece. And sometimes you just want to have fun when titling your work!
I also wanted to play around with layers, so this collage has more obvious layers than my usual work. Typically my collages are pretty flat, while this one is raised in different sections. I think I’ll try to focus more on layers and texture for my next few pieces.
Lately I’ve been using more solid colors in my collages, so this time around, I wanted to mix in more textures. You can see that I’ve still used bits and pieces of solid colors, however the background consists of fragments of images of the outdoors, while the blue feathers and beak have a little more texture or patterns when compared to other areas of the collage. For the blue, I stumbled upon a blue tile-like pattern, and figured I’d see how it would look when I incorporated it into the piece. Sometimes I never know how a specific texture or pattern will work out until I layer it down on my artwork. I can always peel back layers if they don’t work out, so the process is always somewhat of a journey.
This piece was inspired by one of the many visits I’ve made to a zoo. Zoos are the easiest way for me to see exotic animals in-person, where I can take lots of pictures to later use as references for my artwork.
I’ve found a lot of inspiration from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Over the years, I’ve visited the zoo numerous times, and have taken lots of pictures of the animals in their different exhibits. I thought I’d share some images of the work I’ve made that was specifically inspired by some of the animals found at the National Zoo.
I’m fascinated by lemurs, and think that the red ruffed lemur is a beautiful creature with colorful fur and bright eyes. When I was walking by the exhibit where this particular lemur lives, I just had to take a few pictures which later inspired this piece.
Pandas are a lot of fun to collage. This collage was inspired by feeding time for the pandas, where one of the pandas was so engrossed with eating bamboo.
This collage was inspired by a day when one of the red pandas was pretty active, climbing around his or her home.
Meerkats are one of my favorite animals. During one of my zoo visits, several of the meerkats were clumped together and looked like they were all cuddling with each other. I just had to take several pictures of them and use those images as references for this collage.
It’s eerie how much orangutans look like people to me. They’re so expressive, and it seems like half the time I see them at the zoo, it’s difficult to tell who is really watching who.
During another zoo visit, I noticed a turtle that had an unusually long neck, and it reminded me of giraffes. From the turtle’s unusual appearance, I was inspired to make a piece modeled after that species.
I love how colorful flamingos are, and I always enjoy taking pictures of them to use as references for future works of art. I suppose I’m really drawn to their vivid pink feathers.
I think otters are adorable and I always get excited when I see them at the zoo.
Animals are definitely one of my favorite subjects to collage. I love how they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. And I really appreciate that Washington, D.C. has a zoo that is so easily accessible to the public. Being able to visit the zoo frequently, makes it a lot easier for me to tackle my animal compositions.
I grew up in Northern Virginia, so I’ve become pretty familiar with the Washington, D.C. area over the years. And as I’ve grown to love different buildings and places, I’ve also found a lot of inspiration from my surroundings.
The Torpedo Factory is an art center in Old Town, Alexandria. As a kid, I used to take a number of art classes there. In high school, I was mentored by a painter that had a studio there. And after college, I became a visiting artist for a couple of months over the summer. So over the years, the Torpedo Factory has had a big role in my development as an artist – it’s no wonder that I was inspired to make a collage of it.
“Downtown Shopping” was inspired by the townhouses in Old Town, Alexandria. Growing up, I used to wander around Old Town, and I became really familiar with the bright and colorful townhouses that line the streets.
Whenever I walk by the Tidal Basin, the paddle boaters remind me of the days when I was a kid and went on field trips around the city, or visited museums with my family.
“The U.S. Capitol by Night” was inspired by one of the iconic buildings in the D.C. area. It reminds me of the times I’ve lived in the city, or walked along the National Mall.
The “Air Force Memorial” is a collage of one of my favorite memorials in the city. I love how the Air Force Memorial is abstract and sculptural. The fact that it doesn’t look like so many of the other more traditional memorials or sculptures, is what really draws me to it. I’ve made a couple of pieces inspired by this distinct landmark.
The colorful glass sculptures outside the Botanic Garden have always caught my eye when walking past that building over the years. I like how they give the landscape a pop of color in an otherwise gray environment.
I spent a lot of time at the Air and Space Museum back when I was in elementary school. I actually spent a summer going to space camp there, and always had somewhat of a fascination with space. It seemed only fitting to make a collage inspired by a place where I went on many school field trips and summertime outings.
One of my favorite memories of art when I was a kid, was when I got to see a Vincent van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery. I’ve been inspired by van Gogh’s work ever since I was in the second grade and did a school project on him. Over the years, I’ve continued to stop by this gallery to admire their permanent collection or check out the latest exhibit. I’m pretty grateful that I live in an area where museums like the National Gallery are free to the public. It makes it a lot easier to frequent the museum, and to continue to gather inspiration from artists throughout history.
When it comes the Washington, D.C. architecture, the National Museum of the American Indian is by far my favorite building. I love how different it is when compared to the more traditional buildings in the surrounding area.
Over the years, I’ve made a number of collages of the Washington Monument. And I’ve also taken numerous photos of it whenever I’ve strolled by.
The landscape of the Washington, D.C. area reminds me of a number of experiences I’ve had while living here. With my collages, I enjoy focusing on these familiar places, and showing a them in a different way – in paper form.