Monday, August 15, 2011

... then there was the collage

My plan from the beginning was to reproduce the collage for the Papergirl Vancouver project in black and white, which meant the papers I used would need to be a variety of patterns, but similar in value and tone. My solution was to use security envelope linings, of which I have quite a few collected.

Having cut up my traced and numbered drawing (see previous post), I started working from the background to the foreground. I laid each numbered template piece onto the selected envelope lining, being careful to match the top edge of the piece exactly but extending the bottom edge so there'd be something to glue the next layer onto.

The North Shore mountains were easy, and once I had them in place I could feel my confidence growing that my idea was going to work! Next I put in the forests of Stanley Park, and then moved east along the cityscape, putting skyscrapers in the background and layering lower buildings in front of them. There's no way I could be even close to accurate about the buildings given the scale I was working in, but I was highly amused to find an envelope lining from Telus (one of BC's largest phone companies) in my collection, so there is a Telus Building. The building just behind the Telus building is made from an envelope lining from the Hudson's Bay Company (thanks, Rose!), and if you know anything about Canadian history, you'll know why having an HBC building is very apropos.

The waves on English Bay are made with a series of lumpy almost concentric half ovals, starting with the largest on the bottom, and then all glued down at once, covering up the edges of the forest and the city. In the foreground, a path from a grass and shrubbery-edged manicured lawn leads down to the sandy beach.

Although I'd planned the cloud from the very beginning, I came across a zigzag lightning envelope lining that seemed oh so appropriate for how quickly the weather can turn here (yes, it can rain on a moment's notice!).

When it was all finished I realized the North Shore mountains needed *a little something* to break up their dark dominance, and while a few little snips of white would've given me seagulls, I thought if I was viewing the city from Jericho Beach or Spanish Banks (surely the location from whence this scene is viewed), what I'd mostly likely see is a floatplane headed for Burrard Inlet on the other side of Stanley Park. It took a few tries to get it down to a small size (it should probably be smaller, but my fingers kept getting in the way of the scissors) , and adding white wings made it uber-recognizable as a plane.

I'm just so tickled at how it turned out. I don't think I ever got from concept to completion on anything quite as fast as this (approx 8 hours), and it's something I'm happy to contribute to the Papergirl Vancouver project. If you live in Vancouver, keep an eye out for girls on bikes!

First there was the plan ...

I seldom show the planning stages of my projects, but since this was the first time I'd done something like this and it worked out so successfully, I thought I'd share how easy-peasy it was. My goal was to create a collaged cityscape that could be easily reproduced to donate to the Papergirl Vancouver project.

I wanted to do a recognizable Vancouver cityscape, and surprisingly, I was actually able to sketch one out. I guess I've been looking at The Lions (the two peaks on the mountains) long enough that I was able to capture them even though I was far away from home at the time I drew this. Guess that makes me a *real* Vancouverite now.

After I finished the sketch, I delineated the collage areas with a black felt pen, and numbered them so I could place all the pieces in the right location during construction.

Then I overlaid my sketch with another piece of blank paper, and traced the delineated areas, again numbering them, so that when I cut up the traced copy I could use the bits and pieces as templates for cutting out papers for the collage.

To see how it all turns out, check out my next post ...

I think I want to be a Papergirl ...

I think I want to be a Papergirl ... okay maybe not one of the girls who actually deliver the art, but I SO want to contribute to this project so that it can be around next year.

Here's the premise ... people make art, they deliver their art to Papergirl, Papergirl rolls up all the art they receive and ride around on bicycles in the city giving the art out to random people on the street. An idea so cool that my heart went pitty-pat when I read about it. Check their website to see if Papergirl is happening in your part of the world. Also watch the cool videos to see how they do it.

I first saw a Papergirl poster last Wednesday while walking home in my neighbourhood. The "soft" deadline is August 15th, which is (ulp!) today. But not to worry ... I've just come home from one of my kickass art retreats and while there I had time to whip up a little something SO perfect for Papergirl that I still can't believe that: a) I got a great idea, b) had the time to do it and c) it turned out EXACTLY as I hoped it would. Cool.

Monday, August 08, 2011

This is Where You Are ...

Since this project will soon be in the hands of the collaborators, I think it's safe to post my contribution to a Nick Bantock-themed Tarot deck I was invited to join.

I have a fondness for Tarot decks and have quite a few in my ongoing collection, but I like collaborative artist decks even more. There's something fascinating about trying to distill ideas down to images, and then throw in some mystery of your own.

As well as creating our cards as a blend of "traditional" Tarot meanings and Bantock-inspired art, we were required to send a page of text to help the recipients interpret our cards. Here's what I sent for my version of Card No. 21/XXI ~ The World / Le Monde:

"Wherever you are, you are here. This is a time to reflect on your accomplishments before beginning the next stage of traveling. Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour. There is the possibility of new journeys on the horizon, but in this moment stop and appreciate all you have learned on your way to this place."
(Reversed) "Your success may be blocked, either by some external situation, or by you not being willing to see the truth of where you are. If you are planning a new venture be sure you get all the facts before committing yourself fully."

This month I should be consulting this card every day ... I decided since we've been less busy at work that I would "tidy" the studio. For some reason this turned into re-arranging the shelving, i.e. unloading everything into boxes onto the patio, unbolting the shelves from the wall, subtly tweaking their location (oh, for drag and drop in the real world!), rebolting them in their new locations and re-shelving everything. I'm not doing this on my own. I have the able, patient assistance of the person I live with. Who am I kidding? He's done all the unbolting, moving & rebolting, now all I have to do is all the un-boxing, sorting, purging, etc.

At this very moment (I'm trying very hard not to look too closely) the studio still looks like a very big snowglobe that's been given a rather energetic shake by a frustrated child high on sugary snacks. But it will be better ... soon. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

He (by the way) when asked how I should refer to him in my blog, got that deer in the headlights look, followed by a long awkward pause that perhaps contained several seconds of him considering whether it was too late to trade me in for someone who *didn't* have a blog, and wouldn't, under any circumstances, want to write about him. Eventually he said "just call me the chauffeur". So thanks, Monsieur le Chauffeur ~ couldn't have done it without you.