Read more:

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
I paint, make collages and mixed media work. I write poetry. I reflect on the Tao.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Art Journal: The Art of Art Composting

As any half-way decent gardener knows, the essence of gardening is not looking after the plants.  It's looking after the soil. Poor soil, poor plants. Great soil, great plants. The high art of gardening is composting, creating a rich, nutritious, fertile base for growing.

So it is with art.

Every artist needs to make compost.  Gather up stuff, pile it up and turn it over now and then.

One of my compost heaps is cut-ups in sketch books and photo albums.


Visually interesting fragments from failed watercolours, such as this one.

And bits of gouaches or acrylic paintings on paper.

Parts of images from magazines are a favourite. I particularly like finding suggestive, semi-abstract shapes which evoke a sense of landscape.

Sometimes these form the basis of paintings or inspire further lines of exploration.

Sometimes the pages are satisfying in themselves as works of art.

However, I find that the real value in this process is like the gardener's composting. Finding and capturing the images sharpens the artistic eye. Reviewing the images, turning them over and over, letting them sink into the creative subconscious enriches and nourishes the imagination.