Pushing and Pulling Color | Collage Art Inspiration

Today's art inspiration comes from The Artist's Magazine (April 2014), in which artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson is featured for her mixed-media techniques that result in the colorful collage work you see here.

Koi 7 (acrylic, collage, 20×24) by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Painting & Shredding Paper by Maureen Bloomfield

"On American Easel panels that she primes with several coats of acrylic gesso, Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson draws an outline of an intricate design. She then paints the separate segments of the design with fluid acrylics. On top are shreds of paper that she has meticulously torn and either already painted or painted and retrieved in a process that includes weaving, layering, and ‘pushing and pulling colors, values, and patterns' that, she says, ‘makes collage like music.' The result is a riotously colored, highly textured surface that's a palimpsest, with traces of words that move in and out of the viewer's focus.

"Given the diverse range of effects evident in her work, it's clear that the artist has a number of techniques at her command. One of the most unusual resulted in the spots visible on the koi in the series shown here, which started as studies for a public art contest, ArtPrize, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ‘To create the organic spots on the koi,' says St. Hilaire Nelson, ‘I put black gesso or deep brown fluid acrylic paint on my toes and walk all over rice paper. Any time you see dark spots on the koi, they are, in fact, my toe prints that I then tore out of the paper and glued down.' As a result, she says, ‘A little bit of me is in every fish!'" ~MB

I would have never considered using part of my foot to create a mark, but St. Hilaire Nelson's results are perfectthe shapes are organic, and they fit naturally within her collaged subjects. Ideas such as this abound in issues of The Artist's Magazine, which showcases art in all media. Click here to subscribe and have the inspiration and instruction delivered straight to your mailbox (or inbox!).

Best regards,

P.S.
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Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques

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