June 2009 Archives

Erin Kenepp - Notpaper

Erin Kenepp

Erin's carefree collages with emotional messages really remind me of Sabrina Ward Harrison's work—which to no surprise is an influence of Erin's—but there is something very distinct about them! The soft, bright palette of pinks and blues really sends happy vibes. The collages of hers I chose are from the 365 days of being 30 project, and she must be having a good year because her collages send out pleasant messages!

Name (Real or Screename): Erin Kenepp
URL (Blog, Website): www.365daysofbeing30.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=64076731312
Location (Where are you from?): Central Coast, California

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Colorful smears of emotional bliss and joyful expression.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Paint, different patterned paper, vintage black and white photos, magazines, tape, anything I can collect, pen and ink.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started doing collage in my current project 365 Days of Being 30 in December 2008. I love putting different images and/or paper together with paint and words to evoke what I am feeling in the moment. I started the project to document my year of being 30—self-exploration of being a woman, artist, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I am an Artist and Art Therapist.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I minored in Studio Art in college and I have a Master of Arts in Art Therapy.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I very rarely use brushes. I love to mix the acrylic colors with my hands and then glue on paper and photos. I sometimes write about the day or pick a word that describes how I am feeling. I add my photos to my blog page and on Flickr.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: That's too hard! There are so many! I am currently on Day 160...they are all my favorites!

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Sabrina Ward Harrison, Kelly Rae Roberts, Christine Mason Miller.

Thanks Erin!

Camilla Lekebjer - Notpaper

Camilla Lekebjer

I loved reading this witty and lovely interview with Camilla, and I know you will too! Her journals are colourful and bubbly, and you can see her experimentation on every page. I was drawn to the different textures of her work, they're playful and unique!

Name (Real or Screename): Camilla Lekebjer
URL (Blog, Website): http://www.flickr.com/photos/64427716@N00/
Location (Where are you from?): Sweden

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Colorful, passionate, bold, unplanned, smeary, mixed-media experiments.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I like to try things out and I'll use whatever I have at hand. Sometimes I'll make an effort to include things that I'm not even sure will stick to the page properly. I'll use petals and leaves, hair, different kinds of thread, oven paper, grocery lists, scrap paper, my own photos, hand prints (a favourite!), nail polish... I like it when it looks messy. (Even though I tend to feel that my own messiness is not as acceptable/perfect/cool as other people's messy art. That's something to work on though, the self-judgmental mindset. I like to use my handmade journals as exercises in accepting imperfection.)

I'm not too fond of magazines as collage material, but I keep a stack of non-figurative cut-outs of different colors, textures and patterns. I use them when I feel a need for Something Green-ish or Something Fiery or Something That Looks Like Outer Space. Recently I created clothes for a paper doll illustration out of fabric cut-outs. That was fun!

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I can't say when I started creating collages but I know when it became a more regular way of expressing myself. That was when I started journaling in a new way in 2005/2006. I had just found a blog called Wish Jar Journal written by Keri Smith. She made me want to journal in a more playful and visual way. I had been keeping a journal (and/or written letters to friends) since I was nine years old, but this was something new. I started binding my own books for this purpose and have kept going since then with great enthusiasm.

I think maybe collaging was also a way for me to start making images without having the motivation or courage to see if I could draw. (I don't know why I felt that way, but I could see myself cutting and pasting, but not picking up a pen.) Nowadays I draw a lot too, but I don't think I would have had the self-confidence to start if I hadn't already gotten some recognition for my collages.

Another thing I remember from when I first started out with my visual journal, is that I found collaging a great way to change my mindset/mood when there was some undefined, word-less discomfort or frustration. At those times it doesn't help to write or draw, because I don't know what I want to say or express. But collaging then works more as a way of arranging what is already there. It can be really transformative to just make something and it doesn't matter what. Just to focus on the process.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'm not sure if I even consider myself an artist, and if I do I'm definitely multidisciplinary. I'm a fiction writer, firstly. Then probably a photographer. And then perhaps an illustrator. Recently, however, I'm experimenting with trying not to identify with the things I do (or don't do) (or feel, or don't feel). So maybe I should rephrase the above: I write. I take photos. I take on freelance work as an illustrator. I make collages. (And I laugh loudly. I dance. I worry that the money I make from my part-time day-job won't be enough. I read several books at once. I floss.)

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I took photography for about a year (documentary and old techniques like gravure and cyanotype), but other than that, I've been on my own.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: The first thing that comes to mind when asked this question is the following quote:

Do something.
Do something to it.
Do something else to it.
(Jasper Johns)

I read it on Keri Smith's blog once and have kept it in mind ever since. I like to not plan anything when I make collages, especially when I work in my journal. But most of the time I start with acrylic paint, and I'll probably choose a bright, bold color. Then I'll just grab what is close, usually scrap paper, grocery lists, receipts. I'll glue it to the page and then glue something else on top of it. Then maybe smear some more acrylic paint on it. Make a hand print. Cut out circles and glue them along the top of the page. And then wait a while for everything to dry. I'll probably plan to add more but then something happens that I need to write about and I start to work on the next journal page.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I don't have any, I don't think I've made it yet.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Keri Smith, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Ophelia Chong, Camilla Engman, Maya Bloch, Betsy Walton, David Fullarton, Traci Bunkers, I'm sure I'm forgetting someone really important here. I find my Flickr contacts page a constant source of inspiration.

Thanks Camilla!

Shelley Kommers - Notpaper

Shelley Kommers

For quite a while, I just assumed I had already interviewed Shelley on this blog! I feature her work often and check up from time to time, and realized eventually that I have yet to do so! I first met Shelley and saw her work as part of the 6 x 6 project, in which we did a three way exchange (with Karine Leger as well). I neglectfully lost one of my materials packages... I am not the best 6 x 6 participant, but I do love the idea of bringing people together as such! That is where I first saw her work, and I'm happy to share it with you here. I love her work with vintage ephemera, but also she is open to experimentation, and I am always seeing different collages popping up on her flickr.

Name (Real or Screename): Shelley Kommers / Flickr screen name Shelley Lane
URL (Blog, Website): http://www.oiseaux.typepad.com
Location (Where are you from?): Los Angeles

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Poetry, stories and dreams.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Old, crusty papers and photographs, transparent things, Letraset rub-on type, and string. I love string.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been making collages for about a year and a half. I started when I joined Flickr's 6x6 Collage Group with french artist Sofia Barão... she was looking for a partner and I thought it would be a cool exercise. Little did I know that I would fall in love with it! I have a background in design and illustration, so it was a blast exploring something new but also very basic. Collage is very freeing.


Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'm a mommy, too.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I majored in advertising design at Art Center College of Design, and that taught me the fundamentals of design and visual communication. But a lot of my art is authentic... I can't say "self-taught", but almost.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Most of my work starts with a vague idea, like a photograph or a colour, and then I just go from there. I don't know that I have a technique. I stare at my work a lot while I'm working, but that might just be a personal quirk.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I don't have a favourite, but the piece that makes me the happiest is The Swarm. That collage happened so quickly at my desk one evening... I just sat there cracking up, I don't know where it came from!

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I love Mary Blaire, Deloss McGraw, Ed Ruscha, and many others, including a lot of artists on flickr.

Thanks Shelley!

Karen Kang - Notpaper

Karen Kang

Karen's artwork has a bit of a retro feel. She seems to work instictively--there are many different looks and techniques used, like geometric shapes and organic ones, drawing, painting, and all kinds of materials. There is clearly a versatility to her approach!

Karen Kang
www.karenkangart.com
Santa Monica, CA (originally from Chicago)

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Recycled and random materials that make a unified whole.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Pretty much everything. I like papers of all kinds, found wood, fabric, thread, paint, old photographs, book pages... the list could go on and on! I love the feel and texture of different kinds of materials, and I like to work solely with my hands (so nothing digital, computer-generated, etc.)

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Well, I made tons of art as a kid, and some of those projects could have been considered collages. But I didn't really discover and identify with the medium until 2 years ago when I took a collage class. Afterwards, I knew I had found something that I really connected with and I wanted to make more.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I used to be a social worker but now just make art.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: No.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I like layering incomplete images on top of one another to create an interesting new image. I like combining old things and making it look modern. I'm very spontaneous when I create--I never plan or sketch anything out in advance. I just start putting stuff on wood or paper and see where it leads.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Can't say I have one. I resonate with each piece I've made for very different reasons.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Lisa Congdon, Erik Otto, Steve X. Craig.

Thanks Karen!

Glenn Fischer - Notpaper

Glenn Fischer

For some reason I view Glenn's work as simple and complex at the same time. The idea is straightforward--oval mosaics in multiple colours. But because of the content of his materials, each piece has nuances that make it much more entertaining and thought-provoking.

Glenn Fischer
http://glennfischer.blogspot.com www.glennfischer.com
NYC

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Full of little surprises and always worth a second look.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I always gravitate towards vintage textbooks from the 1950's, 60's and 70's which I primary find at thrift stores locally or whenever I travel. I also incorporate magazine clippings, worksheets, book jackets... basically anything made of paper.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started moving towards collage (via mixed-media) around 2002, though in the last 2 years the process has evolved into what I would now call traditional collage. More of a cut and paste approach. I primarily started working in collage because it was cost effective and the access to materials seemed endless. I also enjoyed how the medium allowed me to use line, shape, color and especially text in ways I wasn't able to before.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I consider myself to have dual careers--one as a collage artist and the other as a manager at a law firm.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I received a BA in Art from AASU, attended art classes at SCAD and the Corcoran School of Art as well. I also have an MA from NYU in Education.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I have recently started creating oval shaped templates to work from, which I cut up into sections or strips, collage over and then put back together again and adhere to the panels I work on. It's a very labor--intensive process but the final outcome is stunning!

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Right now (but that could change tomorrow mind you) I would have to say my favorite is Yesterday's Son (2008). I feel like I got everything right in the piece... a perfect balance of imagery, text and color.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Fred Otnes, Lance Letscher, Marcus Kenney, Robert Rauschenberg, Alexis Mackenzie, Aaron Wexler, Beatriz Milhazes, David King, and Jacob Hashimoto... just to name a few.

Thanks Glenn!

Mary Emma Hawthorne - Notpaper

Mary Emma Hawthorne

I love every piece of Mary Emma's work! All of her work masters this feeling of delicacy and softness. And the simplicity of her newest series is stunning! Still, my favourites of her work are the ones with birds--something that I am personally drawn to!

Mary Emma Hawthorne
maryemmahawthorne.blogspot.com, www.maryemmahawthorne.com
Texas

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Delicate, intentional & unintentional, subtle, evolving, provoked from my recent past.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I use paper mostly. Not necessarily old paper, just paper that has something interesting already on it... Something embossed, a yellow crayola line drawn, a pencil scribble or notation, information from the past, etc... Then I just add subtle color or pencil markings, or coloured paper.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Since 2005. I was oil painting and after I showed that work and took a break, I came back wanting to do something more intimate and made these boxes (6" x 6") and started collaging on them. it was at that time I ran across these great bird books that I found the subjects for each piece of my next, series-to-be. since the bird series, I've completed an Africa collage series, and now am on to something new...

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I work retail at Anthropologie 2 days a week, just to get out. I opened the Dallas store as Display Coordinator (my dream job) which I quit after 1 year to do my art. Now I am just a normal employee.


Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I got my degree is studio art at Texas Christian University.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: One dimensional, I guess. I just like to add subtle collage elements at this point in time. less is more and just add in some small drawings as well, and let the negative space be as important!

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Currently, this piece I gave to my parents for Christmas 8 1/2 x 11 collage called shields... I need to put it on my site and I also always go back to holiday from my painting series (#4 beast canvas series). I also really like iceberg in my africa paper pieces. That one just happened and told me what it became. I love it when that happens.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Cy Twombly, Basquiat, Katherine Spence, Richard Tutle, Robert Rauschenberg, Lance Letcher, Stuart Arends, James Havard.

Thanks Mary Emma!

Notpaper is a blog dedicated to showcasing the work of international collage artists. We strive to meet the artists and understand the thoughts behind the process, so interviews with artists are a big part of what we do. If you are new to the site, please enjoy our archives featuring hundreds of collagists!   more 

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