When I first started using photo images in my work, I felt as if I wasn’t creating “real art”. The words of one of my mentors came to me as if pointing his finger…"you must always draw from real life, NEVER, use a photo."
Well, 300 drawings later, I began using my own photo images, telling myself that if I took the picture, it makes it o.k. to use. Well, 130 photos later I discovered the art of Robert Rauschenberg. He used images from magazines and newspapers, plus found objects to create his combines. So, I started using images from magazines and text from newspapers. (for teaching purposes of course) In doing so, I felt free, my demo pieces and private work looked pretty darn good, I had hidden most of the images beyond recognition, yet the layers of paint and papers allowed some images to peek through demanding attention. People took notice and wanted to buy some of those pieces, so… into frames they went. Now, 300 SOLD collages later, I am happy that “Bob” gave me permission to express myself.
I use my drawings, my photos, images from magazines and newspapers, printed text, numbers, stamps, transfers, encaustic, paint, glazes, handwritten text, letters, bills, receipts, tags, sewing patterns, sheet music, wallpaper, envelopes, junk mail, catalogs, tickets, menus, announcements, invitations, documents, and even my great grandsons sonogram where he stuck his little tongue at me while he was still in the womb. I get bags of “stuff” that normal people would toss in the trash but save for Cory because “she can probably do something with it” and I do. All this stuff makes me happy and happy is what “moxie art” is made of. Yes, be mindful of copyrights, if you plan to show, sell, teach, or publish, but…if you crave the rush of creating for yourself, go for it, and learn to love what you do. Oh yes, I also cut, tear, glue, add, subtract, tape, sew, staple, splatter, scrape, burn, emboss, bead, use buttons, fibers, bottle caps, glitter, game pieces, and the list goes on.
I now give you permission to use all of the above and to discover your own path. Remember that unless you have good design and composition knowledge, you could end up with a bunch of cut and glued papers and stuff that just does not work no matter what. Evaluate your work, using line, shape, color, value, and texture as your guide. Color being the least important and value being the most important. Oh! Oh! I’ve just crossed over into my Design Workshop mode.
Happy Painting and keep in touch,