During the summer of 2013 I was based in a small hotel bedroom in central France and only had a very small area in front of a window overlooking the street below to practice my artwork… basically it was a side-table with a few layers of thick, 40 x 30 inch salvaged cardboard which had sufficient overlap (underlap?) when working with my favoured 30 x 22 inch sheets of “Arches Platine” paper. Partly to protect the difficult-to-find large sheets of card (they were sourced from packaging life-size, cut-out advertising models demonstrating diet supplements in the local pharmacy window display) I also used cheap brown wrapping paper under the edges of the art media to partly protect the backing card from my daily excesses of overlapping brushstrokes of paint and stray scrawls of pastel and oil crayon!
I don’t know how many times I scrapped and threw away the cheap brown paper which had been at the receiving end of my unintentional abstract graffiti strokes, but one day I started to look at the “collage” work of various artists on the internet and got the idea that perhaps I could incorporate my accidental throwaway designs into an artwork in their own right.
What basically happened was that I assembled layers of torn strips of my saved waste in various combinations until I had a pleasing composition, using colour, tone and basic (or rather opposing) directions of the brushstrokes to create a finished piece. Sometimes I thought of “skyscape” as the subliminal theme… but more often than not “fireworks” came to mind.
This "Fireworks #1” collage is made up of acrylic, abstract painted strips randomly torn and glued to a 40 x 30 cms (nominal) sheet of Canson 160gms/98 lbs cartridge paper. The colour palette includes Deep Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Deep Cadmium Yellow and Black.