Placing the Collage Painting pieces together

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As the collage painting begins to take shape I now have the pleasure of placing the mixed media materials onto the new canvas. Many fine art collage artists and contemporary collage artists use this period of assembly to define their edges and place the “story” of their collage painting on paper.

One of my favorite mixed media materials to work with as a contemporary collage artist is rope. Collage artists use rope to direct viewer’s eyes and to set the horizontal and vertical perspectives.

I have been looking at these huge pieces of rope which I acquired some time ago, wanting to use them in a painting.  Some of the rope is larger in diameter than a man’s thumb. It’s hard to tell what this rope might be used for. It might be used on boats and docks.  It couldn’t be for rock climbing because it is so large and heavy. Anyway, I decide to use it here. I collect samples of different rope sizes. I want to glue the pieces down next to each other in increasing rope sizes.  So this is what I have done on the left side of the painting. I begin with a very small diameter rope on the left and then continue to build up the sizes of the ropes as I moved towards the center of the painting. There are seven rows of different rope sizes here.  I also add a few rows on the right side of the painting in order to balance out the composition.

What a hard time I have glueing the ropes down to the sides of the canvas which is 2.5 inches deep.  The ropes do not bend easily at a right angle to the front surface of the painting. I end up slicing part way through the rope on the underside just where it begins to bend onto the side of the canvas.  After glueing with gloss medium and varnish, I tape down these ropes really well with artists tape. I let dry overnight before removing the tape. The result? Perfect.

Once the rope pieces are placed and dried I commence filling in the background with turquoise. The main circular shape is painted with a light turquoise, then warmed up with yellow and apricot colors.  The background is also warmed with a dark, rusty red. Black lines define the inner track running horizontally across the painting.  Finally the thinner ropes are painted a light turquoise and the larger ropes are painted a dark turquoise.

Collage art creation has sped up and now the new piece is starting to come together!