Winter Concert, Study for Collage, by Ruth Zachary©

Artist’s Statement

Creativity is a journey. Often, as an artist, I feel I am being led from one kind of expression to the next. Sometimes it is impossible to predict where the direction will lead. Certainly it is difficult to pre-determine the character of the next series of work, because being creative requires exploring ideas that are stimulated in the process of completing the previous piece or during the completion of a new piece.

    My process has always included imagery or techniques stimulated by accident, and then learning to use the discovery and to explore its possibilities.

     I began to study photography in 1975, and experimented with multiple exposures and overlays in the darkroom. Placing different images in close proximity to each other often suggests a metaphoric connection between them, and conveys an idea different than one image alone.

     The development of an idea in a given piece is an intuitive process, where some images may be abandoned, others suggested, and emphasized, or de-emphasized by using compositional devices such as repetition, layering, fading, contrast, color changes, etc. Sometimes the theme is not completely understood until the image is finished, if then. Often a viewer’s interpretation adds to the meaning of what is included in the composition.

Over the years I have worked in print making, painting, collage, and photography, and all may be used in my work. My use of image making has evolved toward montage as a way of presenting ideas and feelings. Using digital images and the computer as a tool for creating montages seems the next logical step for achieving the expression I have always found exciting.

  I have gradually learned to incorporate many different artistic forms: painting, drawing and photo images - both landscapes and people together in one picture plane.

My recent work, in the past year has explored abstraction, including both geometric and organic compositions. This was an effort to abandon approaches which had become easy and safe, and to force myself to meet compositional challenges without relying on recognizable subject matter.

The piece named, “Shape Shifting; Unbeing Myself” is one of the abstract pieces done in the past year which I feel expresses the challenge of having to unlearn familiar ways of working in favor of working in a new ways.

The papers used are printed with Epson colorfast inks on acid-free papers. The creative and compositional choices continue as the papers and images are arranged and collaged to gessoed Masonite panels or stretched canvas. Some areas are painted with acrylic pigments on top of the papers. The finished collage is varnished with  acrylic medium.

 Images and Writing are the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary