Artist Mary Amendola Marley presents a captivating portfolio of abstract mixed media collage. See more of her work by visiting her website.
“An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation. Part of the work cannot be made, it must be received; and we cannot have this gift except, perhaps, by supplication, by courting, by creating within ourselves that ‘begging bowl’ to which the gift is drawn.” ~ Lewis Hyde
My process of working in mixed media is highly experimental. I move between a number of pieces at the same time as I build on different elements from printmaking, painted papers and a large collection of patterned and discarded papers.
I enjoy the challenge of rummaging through piles of materials to experiment with and give each element a new purpose with unpredictable combinations.
Working intuitively with loose gestural shapes of color, I start each mixed media piece on heavy watercolor paper with acrylic paint or ink. Sometimes, I wash some of the ink off under a strong stream of water, then begin to experiment with the marks that still remain.
While pieces dry, I set five or six paintings in a circle and rotate between them while visually listening to each work. Working in abstraction on a flat surface, I use many layers of paper, paint and mark making to build up color, composition and texture. Then, stepping back, I give each piece time to rest, returning later to look at each one with fresh vision.
The next round of work is editing out elements by painting over, scraping and ripping things off to form a foundation to build a new composition on.
I like to play with the tension between accident and intention. By pairing unlikely pattern and color together, I compose a rollicking balance that seems to barely hold together.
For me, the practice of creating is similar to driving a car. While driving, you are making critical (even life-or-death) decisions all the time. Yet, driving is done in a somewhat unconscious manner. Thoughts are allowed to drift along; sometimes you come up short and remember that, after all, you are driving—an act which is quite serious business.
Two important influences that inform my work are the natural world and the written word.
My collages are filled with constant movement. One form merges into the next, transforming and melding together into a regeneration of life. I like to bury phrases of text within a collage. Sometimes words remain visible, but occasionally language acts as a secret foundation to the piece.
Artist Mary Amendola Marley invites you to follow her on Instagram.