Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Much Promise

©2010 St. Hilaire Nelson

Today I learned that my 4x6 collage Much Promise is one of 16 Award Winning collages at the National Collage Society's 13th Annual "Wish You Were Here" Postcard Exhibition. 

I have to share with you that Much Promise had a former life before it went to the Postcard Exhibition.

I struggle with the 4x6 format because it is very difficult to create a figurative collage in that size, trust me I have tried!

Gretchen Bierbaum, the president of the National Collage Society, gave me great advice when I exclaimed to her "Gretchen, I'm not an abstract collage artist, how am I going to make this small format work???" She told me that many times for this format she cuts herself a mat board with a 4x6 opening and uses it to view small cropped areas of unresolved collages. She said she often times finds just the right crop in a bigger piece of her artwork.

Much Promise is a result of Gretchen's advice. I had a cardinal collage that I was not happy with because the bird was proportionately too big. I loved the stamps I used and the fortune, so it became the perfect piece to crop. I chose this area of the 12x12 original because I like the way that the blue branch and the bird leg worked on the diagonal within the composition. For me, the stamps and small piece of map are representative of the bird's flight patterns, migration, and travel. The fortune is just out there to make you think of what lies waiting for you when you choose to take that journey.


  1. Congratulations!!! What a great idea, too - just use a small mat and see what's there in that bigger painting that isn't making you happy - who knows how many gems are waiting this way for all of us.

  2. congratulations on winning one of the awards. Of course you would!
    I do that cropping thing a lot. I've collected a number of mats in a variety of sizes to use to find something useable within an unsuccessful work. I also use these mats to find better designs in my sketches or to find compositions in pictures in magazines. It's sort of like using a viewfinder to focus your eye when looking at a landscape.

  3. This did provide to be an excellent tool for finding an area and cropping. Especially working with a piece that you are not happy with, and giving it new life. Collecting mats is a good idea Jo, I made my own and it was a little skewed. And yes, it's JUST like a view finder.


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