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The 20th of 50 Collages Before Christmas is “Gone The Days Of Rainbows”, a minimalist offering that harks back to collage work that I did a couple of years back in the way of studies for large paintings that I still haven’t found space to explore. When I say space I mean physical space, mental space, time slot and space in my budget!


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The title of this piece, “Two Blacks Don’t Make A White”, apart from it’s playful aspect, is purely descriptive. It is not so noticable in this reproduction, but the upper and lower forms are subtly different blacks. The upper shape is cut from a photograph on gloss paper I took of some shadows cast by trees one late evening on a dimly lit lane in my village. The lower is black acrylic on fairly absorbent Indian handmade eco paper so is fairly matt (the white line is acrylic too). It is 19/50 Collages Before Christmas.


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I wasn’t sure where this one (18/50 Collages Before Christmas) was going for a while and the photograph of one of my erasure drawings in progress kept prompting me to erase or redact it all! Nevertheless I kept pretty much to plan and although I simplified it and reduced the number of recognisable images it never got all painted out. The title is a mystery to me (ironic wink!)


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Sometimes There’s Very Little Point and sometimes you just have to be bold and slosh paint on expensive, fine handmade paper and then cut it up and splosh paste all over it, risking tearing it, and stick it on something else. Painters can daub and scrape and layer and sand and wash out a canvas but paper generally has a one-way ticket. Painters I know will labour and fret over a canvas for weeks or months trying to “resolve” it. Working with paper you have to do the fretting and thinking before you start: then, when you are full to the brim with the idea, you have to attack it full-bloodedly as you have little leeway to correct errors unless you are using the tamest of techniques on the most robust of materials. Get it wrong and it’s firelighters!

This piece, 17/50 Collages Before Christmas, involved me in much testing of watercolours in varying densities of washes on various Himalayan mitsumata and lokta papers watercolour as I had previously used a very limited range of colour on these papers. What surprised me is how much difference there is in the nature of the edges between painting before or after cutting Рsubtle but important.

The title is me playing with description and started from a delight I took in one of the little points I created on the cut edges. The working title was Sometimes There’s A Very Little Point


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