Let's talk January. We have the end of the holiday season, smack dab in the middle of winter, no celebrations in the near future and for many, breaks are just about over and school must commence. Ugh. Sorry January. I really don't mean to rag on you, but when it's been -20 degrees outside consistently, with WIND (as an added bonus) and causing you to hate moving any part of your body because you're freezing to death internally, then you can't expect to have yourself a fan club. Unless you love winter, and you're an eskimo, and you have 10 inches of fat all over your body.
But life goes on and we have to find ways to keep ourselves perky, friendly and ready to get up each morning. Mine usually involves coffee (straight black with no cream or sugar) and strategically placing myself within an inch of the fire. I also have a new added element of excitement to look forward to - the Artful CHALLENGE! Remember those?? These were friendly challenges that myself and a fellow collage artist did where we competed against one another working off a theme, creating our masterpieces in our own style. You can read more about them in the earlier posts (April I believe..)
So here we are in a New Year and we have reignited that competitive edge (emphasis on FRIENDLY). The theme for the month of January was to create the 4 classical elements based off our interpretation. The 4 classical elements consist of Water, Fire, Air and Earth. Don't worry we looked these up so yes they are the real ones. (I had an argument with someone about this and they were adamant about Wind being involved but they didn't know what they were talking about and I told them that Google never lies.)
For both of us this has been our favorite challenge so far. For SO many reasons! I will share her views and comments, but me first. I appreciated that there were four separate pieces to create - my creative juices were on overload, but I think I did well by tying them all in together. We also thought it was a good idea to keep all four pieces the same size - this definitely added to the consistency. For my technique I wanted lots and lots of color and movement. Texture also creeped in to play a role, so the viewer gets a LOT all at once. I am never one to shy away from color because I think that really adds to the "WOW" factor. Go bold or go home seems to be my moto. HOWEVER, I did find myself wanting to have a little contrast in subtlety with Air. To me, Air is a delicate element and I didn't want it to be overpowering. It's everywhere all around us and we can occasionally get "glimpses" of it if we notice. Let me know what you guys think. Can you tell which one's which?
Next we have my very worthy opponent, Bambi! Bambi's technique is so incredible and unique. I really feel like her pieces tell a story and as she says, it's up to the viewer to play their part and decipher what's going on. She has a knack for placing elements together in a piece that captures your attention and beautifully plays off the other elements. I just love her elements and I think she did an exceptional job in her interpretation. So without further adieu, here are her thoughts on the challenge and the beautiful creations she came up with!
"After a long convalescence from some medical procedures, I'm back on board with our Collage Challenges! This challenge has been a real treat for me! For this Challenge we agreed to do 1 image each of the 4 Classical Elements: EARTH, FIRE, WATER & AIR.
I chose to use 10"x10" Watercolor Paper as my substrate, using mostly magazine papers for my collage pieces.
For my Earth I used an archeological dig as my inspiration, and then tried to carry that theme throughout the other 3 pieces, especially Fire. I also wanted to have all 4 pieces be a cohesive whole with each image complimenting one another. So Water & Air balances the Earth & Fire. I also mimicked the tiny rock climber in Earth with the tiny swimmer in Water.
I had a blast doing this Challenge! I like to include Faces in my work. As Shelby says "There is a story to tell in each one" and its true, but I leave that story telling to each viewer. I especially had fun with Fire, that was totally spontaneous and intuitive! I just love it when that happens!
I just love how Shelby and I have such a different approach in our work and it really shows in this Challenge! Her work is so full of colors, textures and energy! She thinks abstractly for her collages using beautiful handmade papers that really works well for her! I on other hand am more of a realist, I think in terms of images. So together our work is at once complimentary to each other's as well as shows how 2 very different collage artists can interpret the same theme!!
This was my favorite challenge so far, and we have already decided on our next challenge.....and I'm ready to go!!"
As Bambi mentioned, we already have our theme for February so stay tuned!!