I used to say, “I can teach skills, but I can’t teach talent.” I’ve changed my mind on this, however, since I believe talent is about developing original ideas, which we all have on some level. The trick is to recognize these thoughts and act on them. This happens for me when I work with collage. By using a system, which I’ve invented for myself, I’m able to explore new ways to mine ideas from my subconscious. It absolutely surprises me every time I produce a new batch of images. It’s exciting to sit down having no clue where I’m heading and come up with something so bizarre I can hardly recognize myself in it.
Nothing motivates me more than a new way of looking at the world. These collage images do this for me. They use a different thought process than my painting, yet one feeds the other. Collaging is a subconscious free flow, while painting is more of an eye-hand coordination skill. They compliment each other.
Best of all, I have this untapped well of ideas sitting in my head. This is exciting, since there is no artist’s block to contend with. When I get bored with what I’m painting, I go back to working on new collages. It’s my favorite time, since I have an endless supply of magazines from garage sales and discarded library magazine collections.
I find it relaxing to cut images out of magazines. The more backup material I collect, the more choices I have and the more risks I’m able to take. Instead of forcing an idea to work, I’m able to allow inspiration to move through me and that’s when my best work happens.