Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working on a couple of behind-the-scenes projects. Recently, I’ve begun sharing glimpses of my nearest and dearest on Instagram: large-scale, recycled, painted and collaged metalwork on panel. These pieces are sometimes difficult to photograph –mostly due to the reflective quality of aluminum– but this quality is one of my favorite aspects of the new work. My aluminum collage work is made from construction scrap and the process is labor-intensive and quite magical.
In 2017, I applied for a grant to assist with financing this project, and although my proposal made it to the final round, in the end I did not receive funding. Applying for grants is a rewarding and educational exercise, but it is also a time-consuming process. I planned to follow through with the project anyway, and fund the work in other ways. Then, in December of 2017, my father passed away, and throughout the winter and spring of 2018, family responsibilities became my first priority.
Although I continued to work —many of the pieces created during the winter/spring of 2018 are on exhibit through the end of June 2019— I had to shelve “Drawn from the River”, my grant proposal project. By the end of 2018, I felt ready to revive the project and returned with more determination than ever. I have worked with metal before, but never unwieldy scrap and never in combination with painting. Late last year, I started experimenting with layered painting on metal collage and did extensive research on compatible materials and methods. Then I jumped in and fell madly in love. To date, I have created 6 large-scale pieces using scrap aluminum on wood panel; collaged works which I then sand, paint, sand and finally paint again. I feel this has primed me for my next leap with pollution material (beer cans, etc), collected from stream beds and rivers.
So, where do I go from here? Not one to give up, I am currently researching a variety of ways to fund this important project. In meantime –alongside my regular studio work– I will continue experimenting with and expanding my collaged metalwork series.
Spring Listening, 2019. 36″ x 48″, Oil & Aluminum Scrap Collage on Wood Panel.