In the groove

There are times when everything falls into place...an idea brews...the scraps align...a synergy builds...

When all of these things click, it is amazing how quickly I can take a collage from start to finish...on the flip side, I have a couple of pieces sitting in my studio...since last summer...after the initial layers were put into place, there was a loud thud.

So when the opposite occurs, I want to capitalize on this energy...in other words, I was in the groove...

For my smaller collages, I use 1 x 10 pine boards cut into sections...its economical, sturdy enough to take layers of glue and sanding, solid enough to attach found objects with either nail or screw and easy enough to finish the edges so additional framing is unnecessary.

After I pull together my scraps, I do a dry run...nothing is glued down...just a rough idea of what might work...I take a quick photo of this arrangement for reference... and then proceed to paint the board in my color of choice...

The scrap that started the process was the strip of a vintage dictionary page...add in a magazine page...a parking ticket stub...and an old library catalog card...and I had my direction...

The process of my creation is a short burst of activity spread out over a couple of days...each layer is glued into place...and then has to dry completely before the next layer can be glued...and then everything is sanded...and waxed...before I add any 3-D elements...

Throughout the process, scraps may move, be cut up or cropped...or reconfigured...the first layer of leaf transparencies did not show up very well...so a second layer was added to give more depth...but attached with small brad nails for additional interest...

Building on the theme indicated by the library reference card, I think of recombinations of letters and numbers...bingo markers not only add another shot of red, but spell out a suggestive message..."go in"

Notice that the board edge is painted dark gray-brown and has been sanded and waxed...simple framing for the piece.

And before long...it is finished...

The library catalog card that I used is from a large supply of cards I received a number of years ago...the University of Iowa was converting their physical library card catalog to a computer version...so the cards were available free to anyone who wanted them...all you had to do was send a pre-paid postage box for shipping the cards back to you and explain what you were going to do with the cards...you had no choice in what you would get...I got a selection of cards from "S" Surgery to "Y" Yorkshire...its been great fun to look through the cards (including many that are in Chinese...I have no idea what they say) as a prompt for art ideas.

I still have quite a stash...If you would like to be so inspired...email me at amy_duncan@yahoo.com with your snail mail address and I'll send you 6 random cards...and then I'd love to see what you create...


  1. Love the layers and the different textures...thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  2. Amy, you sure are in the groove. A generous post as usual, giving your process, which I always find inspiring. A beautiful collage.

  3. How's this: "Amy is such a delight to have in my classroom. She always shows so much imagination and energy in everything she does. I can always count on her to be doing something interesting!"

    Very inspirational, Ms. Amy! Very inspirational, indeed!

  4. This is great...love how you and your scraps are communicating. But, oh, the restraint in not gluing things down right away! I bow to you!

  5. (Rats! i tried to post a comment and somehow deleted it . . . so let's try again.)
    i love your idea to use 1"x10" pine boards for collage. not only does it give substance, and depth to a piece but it allows the ability to embellish using 3-D pieces . . . love love love.
    question for you: when you say you use "wax" to finish, what kind, type, brand of wax do you use? i think that is a brilliant idea.
    my address to follow via email, i would love to have some library cards to use in my work.
    thank you again. i always learn something when i stop by.


thanks for visiting...appreciate your comments...I love hearing whatever you have to say...even if its just to let me know you stopped by...and I want to respond to every comment...but if you have "noreply-comment" as your email, I can't respond...

worth a look...

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