This collage, entitled "Sweethearts," honors the loving relationship between my grandparents, Warren and Loretta, which began shortly before World War II began. Engaged to be married when my grandfather was drafted, they were apart for 3 long years while he trained at various U.S. Army bases throughout the U.S. and later fought in the European Theatre, where he participated valiantly in the D-Day Invasion of France and the Battle of the Bulge. The photo I used is one of my all-time favorites.
The collage was created on a piece of cardboard recycled from a notepad. The substrate was first primed with gesso, then collaged with patterned papers in various shades of green. A mixture of gesso and white acrylic paint was washed over the top of the papers, and before the gesso dried, textural elements were added with a bottle cap, a credit card, and a texture comb. Text paper and sage green paper flowers were then added to the edges of the background, and another color wash of basil green acrylic paint, gel medium, and water was brushed over the entire piece. Harlequin stampings, cursive writing of the word "love" in white marker, chartreuse paint, heart stampings, and flower centers were all adhered to the background, as well as a piece of ornate green lace.
The figure of my grandparents was printed in black and white on a piece of white cardstock, and cut out. The text on their clothes was taken, in the case of my grandma, from the World War II era song "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anybody Else But Me)," and in the case of my grandpa, from FDR's speech to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944, at the exact moment the invasion of Normandy began. I felt these songs best summed up the experiences each of them had as the faced their extended separation. These text pieces were created on my computer and printed out onto inkjet rub-on transfers. The word "sweet" on each of the hearts was also created using these transfers.
It was great fun creating this piece…I hope to display it in my home.