"Eldorado Blues" collages, 6 of 100 total, each collage: 6 x 4 in.

In the last several months, I have created 100 small collages, using reject inkjet prints that were the byproduct of making a new portfolio last winter. I am such a maniac about accurate color that I ended up with a stack six inches high of prints whose color wasn’t quite right. I didn’t want to throw them out–too much money in ink and photo paper–so I just tucked them away, figuring I’d use them somehow.

Then came a weekend when I had a cold, which was the perfect time to sit around and make collages out of those rejected prints. Creating the collages turned out to be like eating popcorn–so addictive that I didn’t stop until I had 100. The collages related closely to my earlier multipanel paintings (they are literally made out of parts of those recent series), but they definitely have their own presence. In fact, the collages look like they ought to be much bigger than 4 x 6 inches.

So I am now creating a series of larger oil paintings (36×24 or 45×30 inches) based on the collages. I am really enjoying working on stretched portrait linen on an easel, after almost five years of working flat on a drawing table, on panels or paper. I’m starting my sixth canvas in this series, which I see as a companion to the multipanel works. I don’t feel like I’m done exploring the terrain of almost-the-same-but-not-quite, though. Some of the new paintings seem to be crying out for near-identical siblings, which they will get eventually.

I’m tentatively calling the series “Eldorado Blues,”because I live in a community called Eldorado, near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and because the collages explore the color blue more intensively than any of my other work. (I was really fascinated by Matisse’s blues when we went to Chicago last May to see a big Matisse show at the Art Institute.) When the new work is dry enough to take to the photographer, I’ll post photos. In the meantime, the collage images above will give you an idea of the energy currently filling my studio.