First evening in the studio / by Cameron Jarvis

I went into work in Minneapolis today, so I didn't have a chance to work on anything in the studio until after dinner. I started by doing a quick free-writing exercise to think about collage and its relationship to painting.

Getting ready to create an abstract collage piece. I'm thinking about the motions that I am going to make to build the layers. It's all about separating elements from themselves and combining them with others. Cutting and tearing and looking and shifting and thinking. Working with objects instead of just colors. Everything is already a thing before I touch it. I'm not bringing anything new into existence, but rather just changing its context. When I'm painting the paint kind of doesn't exist until I spread it on the canvas, and even then it may not exist in a meaningful way yet. The imagery of familiar places attaches meaning to the paint, even as the paint is attached to the canvas. By the end there is some meaning in the paint itself that is independent from the meaning that the imagery lends it. Sometimes this meaning arrives first or in the middle. For this collage I'm thinking specifically about cutting glass into smaller and smaller pieces, using clear gesso to separate layers. looking at the bottom of my bin for a page to use, and pouring orange paint.


Half-finished collage piece