Combining collage with acrylic paint inspires me to create vivid, mixed-media portraits of people, birds, and animals. I have always been fascinated by the endless variety of subject matter that humanity provides and I thrive on the challenge of capturing what I see as important or intriguing about a subject.
As an avid backyard bird watcher and a lover of all animals, I enjoy creating my own unique interpretation of these creatures. Their beautiful, expressive faces are so full of character and they often exhibit a humourous quality that I like to show in my work.
Certain aspects of my creative process are unpredictable, which keeps me engaged and results in artworks that are lively. I approach each painting as an experiment. For example, what happens if I cover my canvas with collage and paint the image on top? If I paint an area purple, how will that affect the other colours used in the painting? Will nontraditional mark-making be too distracting?
This is where layering serves me well. Some of the text on the underlying collage is left showing through the painted image. The purple area might not work at all, but after applying layers of collage and other colours of paint, bits of purple flicker through the other layers. Using a plastic fork, lego, or a comb to apply paint creates a variety of shapes and patterns. The resulting effects are very appealing. Layering with mixed media adds depth, texture, and visual interest unifying the entire portrait.