Cholla Forest, Mixed Media Collage

A new direction. I have contemplated all summer about the need to move in a new direction with my artwork. I had a list of things that I knew I wanted to continue, like using paint and technical things such as using Photoshop. I also had a list of things I knew I did not want to create anymore. 5 months of playing with ideas, watching videos, skimming Pinterest, and endless walks, all in a hope that something would point me in the direction I wanted to go.  

The other day was the first day of a little rain and lower temperatures. This is the time of year that is highly celebrated by us desert dwellers. So I celebrated by getting out onto the hiking trails with my husband and dog. The three mile tour provided us with views of misty clouds and fluorescent colored cholla cactus. They are the very spiky kind that stick to anything that gets close to them. You do not want these spines stuck in you, they are a pain to get out. But I digress.

It is these cholla that provided the inspiration for this new piece, Cholla Forest. The brightness of the cholla against the desert floor make for an interesting color palette. I think in the artwork you can see the likeness of spines and rocks. So, I am happy to say that I have found that missing link. And quite frankly, I couldn't be happier. Everything about mixed media collage is what I want to create.  

This process all starts with my travels. They have always been an inspiration for me, from the smallest hikes to week long vacations. There is always a new color palette, a new texture, a new pattern. And it is those elements that these collages are made. I can take those colors and shapes and abstractly combine them to create this new body of work.

This piece was created with watercolors, hand painted paper, Derwent Inktense pencils, and ink.