| 25 February, 2014 19:23
This 2012 painting is not a painting at all as no paint was used on this canvas. The artwork was inspired by my love of tulips. In December of each year the Dallas Arboretum is planted with thousands of tulip bulbs which bloom in March and April of the following year. This blooming season is commonly referred to as “Dallas Blooms”. The last week in February is the official kick-off for Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum and during that time the flower garden is covered in tulips of all colors and sizes. Frequent trips to Dallas, Texas over the last few years and visits to the Dallas Arboretum inspired me to start painting tulips.
This piece of artwork was my first torn paper collage experience. From a distance most viewers believe the artwork to be an oil painting. However, as the viewer is drawn in they discover there is more to this piece of artwork than originally imagined. All of the torn paper used comes from recycled magazines. What a wonderful way to repurpose magazines!! This process is much more time consuming than you can imagine and tends to be very messy. By the time this painting was finished my home studio resembled the streets of New York City on New Year’s Eve after the ball drops. The time spent finding the right magazine, and the right page, that has just the right value and texture … for an area that would normally be covered with a one second brush stroke, is extensive. Much time is also spent reading … or at the very least fighting the urge to read an article in the magazine that looks interesting or that you have read and want to read for a second time. All in all the thrill of the hunt easily becomes spell binding and the results are well worth the effort.
The thrill of the hunt is something the viewer experiences too. There are many hidden images in the collage that a painter might not normally think to put into a painting. This surprise element keeps the artwork exciting. In this “painting” you will find words, and flags, and even little people hidden in the flower garden. The longer you look the more secrets you may uncover. The painting brings the viewer to a magical place …a secret garden …and isn’t that what a flower garden should be?
This process is very different than anything I have done before but it allows me to express myself in a new way while still providing the mystery, color, and excitement that I long to see in a piece of artwork.
Although I continue to save special magazines I have not attempted to do another torn paper tulip collage. I expect there will be more popping up in the future though. With each new spring there should be a fresh crop of magical tulips in the flower garden … don’t you agree?