Art from Teabags–An Inspiring Collaboration

I have been enjoying meeting the artist members of SLMM, the Society for Layerists in Multi-Media at our weekly Zoom calls. Our collaborations have led me to explore new materials and ideas. Nancy Nikkal, a member of SLMM, is an accomplished collage artist In addition to making wonderful abstract collages and teaching, Nancy writes an informative blog called The Art of Collage. Nancy’s most recent post is about our Teabag Art Project and you can see what other SLMM artists have done with tea bags in her post. Also, if you missed my earlier post, you can see more of my tea bag collages here.

My collage entitled Tea Tunes, collage on paper, 12 x 13 inches, 2021, was included in Nancy Nikkal’s blog post on The Art of Collage.

Exchanging Materials for Collage

For the materials exchange, I was randomly paired with Carla Duncan, a wonderful artist from Missouri. I sent Carla a variety of papers and fabrics from my collections and Carla sent me a variety of two and three-dimensional materials. Interestingly, Carla’s nuno-felted scraps led me to create an underwater-themed collage. As I looked at the shapes I had cut, I noticed that some looked like fish swimming. We often wonder where artists get their ideas. In this case, my ideas were a direct response to the materials from Carla.

Carla’s Magic Garden Under the Sea, mixed media collage on panel, 8 1/2″ x 10″, 2021
The package of assorted papers for my SLMM partner Carla

Wall of Water, A SLMM Collaboration and Fundraiser

One of our SLMM members, Karen Van Hooser, shared that “Our society has been invited to participate in a collaboration project to benefit the ‘Samburu Project’ in Kenya to provide communities access to clean water. The effort is being curated by Pacific Coast SLMM member Rachel X Hobreigh through a collaborative art installation, ‘Walls of Water’, which will be exhibited in the Corridor Gallery of the Helms Design Center in Culver City, CA on December 2, 2021 – January 2, 2022.”

I began by doing some small collage experiments. A few days later with the deadline looming, I decided to play with an older viscosity monoprint entitled “Movement of Water.” By cutting the print into four four-inch squares, I was able to transform one print into four smaller compositions. (On a technical note: viscosity printing is done in layers. For each layer, the ink is thinned with different viscosities or thicknesses of oil. This makes it possible to roll ink in layers, allowing each layer to add more depth and complexity without picking up the ink from the previous layer.) When I cut these four small squares from the larger print, I was happy to see that each small image retained a sense of movement and watery resonance.

Movement of Water 1-4, viscosity monoprints, 4 x 4 inches

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