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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Artful Compost Revisited

Just Sayin'
Jo Reimer
7.5 x 7.5
mixed media collage with painted papers
I keep a small basket of 7.5" substrates, mostly 140# and 300# weight, to use for collage. A full sheet of watercolor paper tears down to this size with no waste. When I travel I can grab a few sheets and toss them into a box of "compost" along with scissors, a tearing ruler, and glue so I have something to play with when the mood strikes.

I've talked before about my compost and if you click the link above you'll see some pictures of some of my compost piles. My blog header is a photo of a pile of compost in my studio. I'm not talking about making rich dirt. My compost consists of paper, piles of paper which I've painted and dyed and printed in various ways. I call it compost because as I search my piles and boxes of paper it all becomes a jumble of color that often suggests new, rich uses.

I don't use much ephemera or other commercially printed paper in my collage practice, preferring to paint original papers so that the artwork I create is completely my own. The painted papers add a complexity that I can't get from commercially printed papers. Most images in my work are my own photos or drawings. I don't see anything wrong with appropriated images when they're transformed in some way by the artist using them; it's just not my way of working.

Have you started your own compost pile? It's satisfying... like Just Sayin'.



9 comments:

  1. Ha! My entire stash of papers is a compost that can be recycled, turned or transformed at any time. Great way to use my time NOT sorting but instead being creative! :-)

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    1. Great minds think along the same lines, Hanna. I have never found it particularly productive to have all my red papers in the same box. However, I do have the large pieces sorted by color to make it easier to find what I'm looking for. And I have 5 or 6 boxes of compost from which I work. I wonder what it would be like to have a huge collage studio, maybe 10 meters square with one medium sized table in the middle and all the paper scattered across the floor. Talk about composting!

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  2. Interesting to read this post about your compost! Must be a good source of inspiration - a great idea.
    Thank you!

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  3. such a beautiful piece. Love the compost and how you get there, who would have thought compost could be so beautiful :-)

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    1. It surprised me how lovely this piece is when enlarged. All the papers are ones I painted some time ago and none looked so good until they were torn and put together in a new way. God is in the details.

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  4. A great way of describing your piles of papers. I suppose I could call my bins of found objects compost for my carvings.

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    1. Your bins of found objects certainly could be called compost. I'm pretty sure that you dig through them regularly to find just the right pieces and maybe even exclaim, as I do, where did that come from? It's all about seeing objects and colors in random combinations which trigger new ideas.

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  6. I love that concept! I smiled to myself reading this, after writing that post about my stash this morning. I'm so glad you stopped by and commented. We work in a very similar way.

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