Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

Looking in on Jane, A Portrait of the Artist's Mother
24 x 36, mixed media collage with personal ephemera

I realize that many of my readers may not have been here since the inception of this blog and it was brought to my attention again by a comment made by my friend Mary Elizabeth the other day. She asked me to give a little description of how I became a figurative collage artist. 

It all started out with a scrap box of papers my father gave me about five years ago, he said he had kept them for 30 years and now he was giving them to me. There were cards and notes and papers from all the way back to my mother graduating from nursing school and then giving birth to me. (all seen in the right hand side of the painting, including baby photos of me, and my diaper pin) What does one do with all this "stuff?" Putting the box under my bed seemed anti-climatic, so I tried to think of some way I could use all these papers to create art, something I could enjoy rather than tuck away. 

I went on to create Looking in on Jane, and it won Best of  Show at Orlando Visual Artists League. (My mother is frosting cupcakes in an apron her mother made for her, she was always baking) I was so thrilled with this idea of incorporating papers into paints, that I began expanding and exploring and experimenting until I challenged myself to eliminate the paint, and just create the art with paper. 

My process has been refined as it evolved into the figurative, impressionistic collages I do today. This portrait of my mother, is the original Paper Painting, which plunged me head-first into the pool of possibility that is fine art collage!


  1. wonderful read...I love yoru work and you truly have a special gift...

  2. Oh, that is such a great story. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey.


  3. I really loved reading about how you got here from there. Great story!

  4. Thank you all for your kind words, I have to tell you that it's extra special because my mom suffers from mental illness and she is not the same as she was when I was a kid, as she was in the portrait, and so it's even more special to me on many levels. :)

  5. Very nice portrayal of Mom Beth, I think Mom gave us all creativity in different ways, we will always love her for that. You amaze me day after day, I don't know how you have the time to keep up with it all! Love "Lil Brother" Alan

  6. I never knew that story of how you got started with the collage stuff. Thanks for sharing that. I too have some stuff, like a box from Belgium. It sits in the attic... Oh well, I'll stick to what I do well, and maybe one day you will make a collage for me out of it all. LOL Love you and thanks for being my big sister!

  7. What a delight to read your words of how what seemed like a meaningless box of whatever became a magical box of miracles. And the weaving together of your family with your brother's and sister's comments is a blessing. Down deep within your Mom I have a hunch she knows she gave life to a talented gifted wonderful lady artist. Thanks so much, Elizabeth, for sharing your story of how you got from there to here!

  8. oh elizabeth what a beautiful piece and wonderful tribute to both your mother and your father! i am overwhelmed by your talent!

  9. What a wonderful story, Elizabeth. It is all so full circle that the paper got you recognition for your work which had to fortify your belief in yourself and this direction for your art. Even though your mom is not the same as you remembered, she is still contributing to your life and that is priceless! Hugs to you!

  10. I loved hearing how you got started. Today my mom would have been 90. My sister and I have so many of her stories and memories. Maybe I will be inspired to create a painting in memory of my mom too. I am enjoying taking your class.

    1. Philomena, you should really do that panting of your mom, now you have the skills, and you always had the sentiment and the motivation. :) Thank you for taking my class!


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