Every collage begins with an idea – often inspired by the colour combinations of stamps I have discovered while sorting, and sometimes just by contrasts I’ve stumbled across in day to day life – a sky, or a leaf, or something as mundane as a cup of cocoa or the juxtaposition of two tins in a cupboard…
My stamps are pre-sorted by colour (by hand, by me), so the process begins by manually sifting through to find stamps to match my chosen palette in similar and/or complimentary tones. The stamps scatter around my work space, and I keep sifting, laying down, swapping stamps in and out until I am happy with the result. A small (A6) layout usually takes around 2-3 hours, as I find just the right stamps to complete my ‘picture’. This is a rough approximation of how it usually works:
The actual collage sometimes/often meanders away from my original intent, in the course of a very intuitive procedure. Colour progressions are led by the individual stamps which have fallen into place, rather than a rigid idea of what will go where decided in advance, and all kinds of unexpected nuance can emerge as a result of this organic process.
This recent notebook is the perfect example, beginning with a fairly ordinary ‘heather’ palette, but blending into something far more subtle and complex.
I find it fascinating to watch each collage come to completion, like piecing together a jigsaw without a picture on the box!