I began creating collage art after a friend showed me a small collage she had put together with pictures from magazines and newspapers. I began collecting vintage magazines and interesting art papers to make my own collages, using pieces of cardboard to Mod Podge them on. I found it therapeutic. Making those small, simple collage pieces was meditative and stress-relieving.
Tragedy hit in 2007 when close friends of mine died in a car accident right after my father passed away. I went to four funerals that July. I turned to collage art to help ease my grief. By now I had quite an eclectic collection of papers and ephemera to play with. Art had become anchored in the flow of my ordinary life.
My collage techniques began to progress as I continued making art as gifts for friends. I began adding words to my pieces, looking for inspiring, empowering phrases that lift and affirm the human experience.
I stumbled upon the artistry of mixed-media collage artist, Kelly Rae Roberts, when I purchased her book, Taking Flight. The creative techniques and project ideas in this book took my collage-making to another level. I began using paint and inks to enhance my art. I also began following KRR on her website and Instagram as she is a generous creative soul who shares not only her art, but her heart with her readers and fans. She has definitely been the number one creative influence in my life!
In 2014 Kelly announced she was offering her first online painting course. I hesitated as I wasn’t sure about spending the money on something so self-indulgent (oh, us moms! we like to spend on others but not ourselves!) But at that exact same time my teenage son was diagnosed with stage-4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As my family reeled from this devastating diagnosis, I realized I would need art more than ever to journey through the wilderness of CancerLand.
As my son endured six months of chemo and radiation, I turned to art again and again to help me through the long, dark nights. I often posted my art on social media. A friend who owns a local coffee shop invited me to display my art as one of their monthly featured artists. I showed 24 pieces ; 21 of them sold that month! This is how my Etsy shop was born. I decided to capture my originals and create high-quality archival prints of my collage art. The techniques and tools I learned in Kelly’s course took me soaring to new heights of creative confidence.
My son is now a healthy college student (yay!), and I have established myself as a dedicated mixed-media collage artist. My Etsy shop brings me a steady stream of orders, and I have enjoyed more opportunities to show my art around Portland where I live. It is my joy to share meaningful art that I hope will inspire and empower others.
Making art has become my love language.