Sunday, February 28, 2010

Creating With Collage, Part 2

Winter Concert, Views 2 &3 in Progress. Mixed Media Collage, size 24x30" by Ruth Zachary. Final Version not shown.

Process of Collage part 2 -Winter Concert

The arrangement changed from the original concept as I went along. (See the previous post)The top and bottom were darkened, while the sides were lightened with acrylic grays, and tissue paper layers were applied over that. I do not use colored tissue papers because they are not colorfast. For color, they are painted with acrylic pigments.

Not satisfied with the composition at that point, I took a photo of it, and imported it back to the computer. Having worked close up and on a small scale for quite some time, I find it difficult to see needed changes when working on a larger scale, unless I experiment first with a smaller version, as on my computer screen.

I proceeded to copy small sections from the original layout and to arrange them in the side panel areas over the gray, turning, flipping and rotating to get something I liked. Repetition helped to tie the sides to the center, and touching the edge promised to anchor the center to the whole. I copied the small sections to one document to print out for the final layout. Adhering these to the panel, I attempted to maintain the sense of movement while retaining quiet areas at the edge to separate the image from the frame.

Check out my new blog, Ruth Zachary's Mixed Media,  which is intended to focus upon my Abstract Art, Patterned Field Landscapes and Geometric Compositions. 

This blog will continue to feature my Women's Heritage Art, Symbolic Photo-montages and Vintage Photo-montages. Techniques for all of my work, explaining Mixed Media Collage and Montage Art, as well as Abstract Compositions will also continue on this blog site.

Images and Writing are the © Copyright  of Ruth Zachary.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Creating With Collage

Study for Collage, Winter Concert© Ruth Zachary

Process of Collage  - Winter Concert.

The name refers to the black and white stripes which remind me of piano keys. The other colors are deep and almost somber, like winter, but warm, like being inside on a winter evening.

Some of the papers originated years ago, when I began saving papers that were the result of cleaning my print making rollers. The papers were newsprint, something I would never use in collage because of the high acidic content. Still the patterns and textures were so intriguing I couldn’t bear to throw them out. But imported into the computer, and printed on good papers with colorfast inks, the image will retain the details and hold up over time. These textures can be seen in the background grays of the composition.

This and other patterns, both geometric and organic, were layered one over the other in Photoshop. When some rich shapes and textures emerged, I cut them apart and arranged them on the computer. The first result could be seen in the long narrow image, and I planned to work from that.

Among various gessoed panels, none were long and narrow. I picked one, sized 24x30” to leave equal space at the edges. The collage would be mounted over a pre-painted dark tone. This separated the image from the frame, even though the borders would later include more elements. The creative process continued as the papers were cut up to be rearranged and adhered to the panel, using clear acrylic medium.

This is part 1 of 2, to come later.

All images and writing are the copyright © of Ruth Zachary.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Virtual" Housecleaning

Laura's Refrain. Study for Mixed Media Collage.  © Ruth Zachary 2010

Dear Readers,

Today, I started another blog, because my work has been evolving over the past year into abstraction as a style. I will not be abandoning my other forms of expression, but I plan to separate the more abstract work from the forms which contain more realistic subject matter. The heading on the new blog includes “mixed media art”. As yet, It is not complete enough to come up with a search on Google.

My web site at will continue to feature Montage imagery, as will this blog, with more recognizable subjects. This is an effort to meet the needs of people looking for my work on line, so they can find what interests them most.

Eventually I may have a second website with the abstract work on it, but I am not very proficient with these programs, and my months away from the technical side means I can’t build a website as quickly as I can a blog.

Today I have done some “virtual” housekeeping, and am removing files from this blog which seem less relevant. I have removed most of the poetry, and eventually will transfer the purely abstract imagery to the other site. The emphasis for this site may also change to address techiques and methods for montage composition.

Note: Many of the images I have for the web are “studies” because the process of creating the final work results in a changed version. That is the nature of collage. When finished I will take a photo of the final image, but in most cases, final photos are not yet available.

All writing and images are the exclusive © Copyright of Ruth Zachary 2010.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Being Part of Your Art Community

DeJaVu, A Backward Look, Acrylic Collage with photo images, 20x24." $400.

A Dynamic Art Community Needs You.

If you want to be part of an exciting art community, it is important to give of yourself. Take part in the events, and give it your best effort. What you offer will have an impact, large or small! Talking to other artists has the potential to affect the attitudes of the Area you live in.

Friday Night, I attended an art opening for the Greeley Art Association show, Art from the Heart, held at Showcase Art Center. The show will be up until Feb. 26.

I was very excited to see the wide range of styles, media and subjects shown in the exhibit, something different than other GAA shows I have participated in during the past five years. To me, the change meant that the community of artists here is becoming more dynamic and reflects a growth in ability as well as increased openness to new ideas. I believe it is partly because more artists have followed their own path toward individual styles and modes of expression. I talked with a few artists that I had not met before. It was quite exciting. A wall-to-wall crowd visited the open house reception.

I have been involved in many different artist’s groups, coops and communities since I began my full time art career in 1977. I think it is good to have a good variety of approaches offered by different artists. Another positive factor is to include pieces by artists who are at different stages of development, if there is space. What happens is stimulation between contributors, creating mutual cross-fertilization of ideas. When this happens, there is almost always a growth process for the community of artists as a whole. The influence of this process also tends to evolve in a kind of Regionalism for a particular city.

In the city where I previously was active, Kalamazoo, Mi, there had evolved a regional trend of Surrealism and or Symbolism. Abstractions also took their place among the Impressionistic Landscape images. Printmaking and Photography were also very strong.

I am not advocating any particular style of expression for Greeley. I am pleased to see an atmosphere of openness so that freedom of expression is encouraged through acceptance of a variety of approaches. I am hopeful that an increasing dialogue between artists will occur here. If a different regional character of art emerges in Greeley, the artists who work here and in the areas around Greeley will influence that. It will be exciting to be a part of it.

Creative Process

I had the pleasant surprise of being awarded two ribbons on pieces I entered. All three pieces represented the direction of work of the last year, which I feel is moving toward a synthesis of several different ways of working, which has evolved for the last thirty years. One piece includes faces integrated into an abstract composition, “DeJaVu”. The other is completely abstract, titled, ‘Shape Shifting, Unbeing Myself.” All three pieces were acrylic collage; using papers adhered to a gessoed panel. Two incorporated photographic imagery layered in Photoshop within an abstract background, printed with colorfast inks on acid-free paper. I attempted to interpret broad conceptual ideas using a montage of images. I used experimentally painted textural papers and layout papers also. The composition was adjusted in the collage process, including fading some areas, painting over, removing some, and adding geometric shapes. The third piece was titled “Dream Fragments.”

Writing and Image are the Copyright© of Ruth Zachary.