The farmer is heading to the house where his supper waits on a red checked tablecloth... leftover fried chicken and mashed potato cakes, with some juicy ripe tomatoes out of Mama's garden and chunks of sweet onions. Maybe pecan pie and ice cream and a night of untroubled sleep.
HOW I MADE THE COLLAGE
Smooth a thin layer of gesso over the panel. While the gesso dried I printed some photos onto tissue paper and began selecting sections to build the farmyard idea. I augmented the house photo with a photo of a barn of the same vintage, and a photo of my father, also the same vintage. I printed several copies of the photos so I'd have extra bits of tree foliage to piece together.
HOW TO PRINT PHOTOS ONTO TISSUE
Make a carrier sheet by folding down the top 1/2" of a sheet of computer paper. Slip a piece of tissue, cut to size (8.5 x 11"), under the folded edge. Place in your printer, fold first. The fold protects the leading edge of the tissue from bunching up in the printer rollers. There are other methods; look on YouTube. Warning: expect a few printer jams before you master the process. Your printer manual will tell you how to retrieve the jammed paper.
I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish to adhere vintage book pages to the support and then glazed over the papers with gesso juice (1 part gesso to 1 part water) to soften the text and add a bit of mystery, and let that dry thoroughly. Then I added more tea-dyed papers on top.
I'm sorry... I got so excited about the work that I forgot to take more process photos!
And finally, I got to THE IMAGES
I decided on a landscape format because of the general look of the background and the stormy sky at the top. I played around with the placement of the images before settling on the final composition.
GLUING TISSUE PAPER IS TRICKY.
You need to put the glue on the substrate, not on the tissue, but in order to prevent the tissue from wrinkling it needs to be moist. I have a spray bottle that sends out a fine mist that works well with fragile tissue.
Put the glue on the substrate, lightly spray the tissue, count to 10, and lay the tissue in place, putting one edge down and carefully rolling the rest in place. I keep a rubber bowl scraper at hand and use it to flatten out the tissue.
I know I typed that fast and made it sound easier than it is. Working with tissue in this way takes lots of practice and patience... and a willingness to scrape it all off and start over if need be.
So there you have it, a House on a Hill, with a story to go along with it.
Please leave any questions about my process in the comment section below. If you have a question I'm sure others will want the answer, too.