“Tsunami” contemporary paper collage art
I’m still getting a feel for working with collage. The main hurdle is managing all the piles and piles of material so that you can find something when you need it. At first, I thought it might be best to sort images based on whether they were useful as full scenes or just a source of figures, but then I realized that figures versus scenes was just an arbitrary distinction. The best approach seems to be sorting the material by color groups.
In organizing the material for a particular collage, I have to search through hundreds if not thousands of images. Handling all this material is problematic in itself, but the real complication is that I can’t search through that many pictures without getting ideas for other collages. No matter how close I seem to be to finishing, I always start laying out other works on temporary pieces of cardboard. Every shelf in the studio is covered with these works in progress on cardboard. I can’t finish one without being distracted by another. It becomes an infinite regress, and I never finish the work I planned on finishing. I have even spent several tedious nights arranging the same collage, only to end up cannibalizing its pieces for one of the side projects that grew up during the meantime.
I think the most important thing I have learned from collage is how to work on a particular piece over the coarse of many studio sessions and how to evaluate many different configurations before committing to a design.