I took a "Birds & Blooms" collage workshop with the wonderful Elizabeth St. Hilaire last November at the Winslow Art Center and made this Remembrance Day robin. It has a lot of layered meanings for me, starting with the fact that this particular robin image was the 'O' ('O'riginal) or basis for a brilliant fark.com photoshop contest that went wild with a game of photoshop tennis attacking and defending the robin. My husband and I met online doing fark photoshop contests and this is a European robin, his kind of robin. The workshop was also right around Nov. 11 which is Armistice Day in the UK and poppies represent the blood of the war dead covering the fields.
There were several aspects to the collaging process, one was making abstract tinted papers with flow acrylics and a gel press plate and I loved this part! The act of printing and making the abstract papers to be used in the piece was super fun and freeing. I can see myself doing it again in an abstract series.
Another part of collaging the robin though is ripping up tiny pieces of paper and stressing about saving words and fitting it all together and that part was very fiddly for me and although I'm sure I'd get better if I did more, I think for now I will keep my focus on oil painting. Plus I already have a hard time parting with any "useful" or interesting scrap of paper and this medium only reinforces my hoarding, I mean, collecting tendencies.
I will try and find a sharper photo of this because there are three Queen Elizabeth II's in there from bits of postage stamps as well as some choice phrases and towns on the little maps and bit of a hymn and a mention of Beethoven on one of the poppies and scrap of his sheet music, My husband loves Beethoven so he represents both good and bad here as the Germans were the enemy in both World Wars, but the blood of innocent young German men was spilled as well.
This piece does also make me wonder if the British European Robins will break away and form their own species in honor of Brexit.