Collage+Watercolor+Mixed Media


“Forget Boys”

Carol A. More
Collage, Watercolor, Acrylic Ink, Drawing Pen on Watercolor Paper 

8″ x 8″

I’m constantly inspired by my fellow art bloggers and this piece was born from all the lovely and recent drawings and other work by Claudia McGill & Her Art. If you haven’t checked her blog out yet, you’re missing some super creative stuff. Other faves of mine: Evelyn Flint Art and memadtwo,method two madness and brand new for me to follow, mazartly. Receiving their thoughtful posts is a highlight of my day/week/month and I have to confess – I am never at a loss for artistic inspiration because of their generous shares.

Not much to say for this piece other than I was messing around in my art lab. I needed some color to erase all the political rantings (yes, I indulged one of my own) on Facebook from my mind. If you follow me already, you know I’m a scissor fiend and the most relaxing thing in the world is to cut something out. So I cut out the two girls and the little boy’s floating heart and CeCe’s umbrella. Watercolor, a bit of ink and some flirty black lines. Evelyn Flint is rolling out some stencil work using a velvety ‘indigo’ color that I find super-interesting…stay tuned.

Thank you, my fellow creative bloggers for your most generous and flourishing inspiration.

“Lingerie”- A collage how-to



Collage +Oil pastels, soft pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, acrylic paint on paper

Carol A. More


Fessing Up

Honestly, I have been working on my cold wax + oil pieces from last weekend’s workshop. Although I fessed up in my last post that I sometimes have difficulty stopping on a piece, I don’t believe I do. I was trying to be funny. I usually know when to stop….sometimes, and I have been accused of over-working before. Most recently, in last week’s workshop. Feelings are still a bit hurt over it.

This piece was challenging…

Probably because it took so long. I already know I work best when I don’t overthink something. I started out, with inspirational help from an untitled piece by Melinda Tidwell. I love her use of natural colors with a mere suggestion and splash of something bright. This little geometric piece forced me to SLLlooooowwwwww down. With all my supplies – (I mean, just look at the supplies used in the piece above – Holy COLOR, Batman!) I had to really think about values. My head hurts.

The best part of finishing a piece….

…is bestowing a title upon it. I’ve talked with artists who belabor this part; waiting for it to arise while in progress, or coming to them in a dream, or standing in front of a mirror peering through one closed eyes, or naming it the first thing they see when they finish the piece, or picking from a list of thematic suggestions. I’ve done ALL of those things. But this time, “Lingerie” felt classier than “A-cup, B-cup, C-cup, D-cup”.

Wishing you a lovely day full of creativity and grace.

How to:

  1. I used an assortment of scrap papers to cut out squares and half squares, then a large washer I found on the side of the road fit perfectly within the 2.5″ squares, so…I traced a few circles. Vintage ephemera would be lovely, too?
  2. Cut some squares and circles in half for interest and under paint them in your pallette (I used neutrals of warm white, turquoise, raw sienna, black, white and overpainted a few pieces or squares with craft-grade metallic gold.
  3. Underpainted the 140 lb watercolor paper using varied colors
  4. Pasted some of the half squares and circles into the squares on the substrate
  5. Embellished with charcoal, graphite, oil pastels, soft pastels, etc.
  6. Sprayed with fixative (outdoors, mind you, the fumes aren’t safe to breathe) between raindrops in Western North Carolina


OUT OF THE BOX! Cold Wax + Oils


“Slowly Going Nuts”

Carol A. More

A while back I decided I needed to expand my understanding of composition and other materials useful in my trash-2-collage work. Why? I’m not sure, but it sounded good at the time. This weekend I secured a coveted seat in one of Cindy Walton’s Cold Wax & Oils beginner’s workshops. Yikes.

I’m complaining here

You know the cold (I’ll be using this descriptive word often here), sick feeling you get, one hour into a class, when you say to yourself “OMG, what the heck am I doing here?!”  Uh huh. First, the investment was huge. My beloved husband gifted me the class for a Christmas present (I wouldn’t have spent the high dime) and then I had to buy EVERYTHING on the supply list. EVERYTHING. I was into half a thousand before I even received my credit card statement. Second and most important, I learned a lot and third, I stayed the entire three days – surprising myself. My teeth were ground down to nibs and I was the first one to my car when it was over. I must have been giving off vibes of wanting to run the final day/hour, when Cindy asked us to journey to each person’s workstation while she critiqued and then she stink-eyed me through clenched teach, asking ALL of us to stay for the review of everyone’s art. Who me?  Duck out early?  Me?  In all honesty, I deserved that stink-eye. I might have dodged…..

The freaking mess of oil paints….

And the mess. OMG, the mess. Oils frighten me for many reasons. Reading that Old Masters went bat-sh*t crazy from lead poisoning didn’t help. First day, I used an apron; second and third days, I draped myself in a XXXL men’s shirt that draped to my ankles. I have oil paint in my car, on my steering wheel, on my art lab floor (must have been on my shoe bottoms), in my hair, on my eyelids, under my nails, on my leather purse….I’m sick of looking at the stuff.  There’s nothing like vacuuming up bits of paper from my lab floor at the end of a free-for-all art day. But this oil……Lord have mercy.

I’m a collage artist and my job is to over work a piece!

That said, this is the only one of six panels and two oil paper quads that I wanted to publicly share.  I am an over-worker of art. I know that. I pride myself in it. I’ll never be accused of slapping the minimum down with my arms raised in Olympic-style triumph shouting “DONE”, slap a price tag on it and move on. In my narrow mind, I believe that’s what collage artists do. They over work! In fact….I will over work something to death, walk away and mess with it again….day after day after day. If I had a dime for every time I heard the word ‘stop’ or ‘leave it’ directed my way from Cindy, I would have paid off the hefty oil paint investment in one day. Something else…all the supplies were provided at the workshop – all FREE from the art companies and for our use. Does this experience spoil my desire to learn? Nope. I’m signing up for a drawing class next. That and the cold wax+oils class should sufficiently humble me for 2017.

And no, it’s not the title of this piece (“Slowly Going Nuts”).  I’m thinking a more professionally appropriate title is “Never Again”.



Collage: “Gladys”



by Artist:  Carol A. More

“Say hello to Gladys. She was my Godmother, though I really didn’t know her. I suppose she was present at my baptism, but I don’t remember her. I was never sure what a Godmother should be.  Perhaps she wasn’t allowed to be. When I was little, I wondered what it would have been like to have someone who cared about me and only me. Someone who thought I was more special. Who bought me things. Who smiled when she saw me. I was the middle of five children; only one-fifth. And Gladys had her own kids. I suppose it never mattered but it didn’t keep me from hoping and waiting for something that didn’t even matter.” 

♦   ♦   ♦

The paragraph above is affixed to the back of the artwork and manually typed on my little manual Olympia typewriter – complete with hand-inked ribbon.

While working on this piece, my memory stretched back ‘to the day’. I remembered her face, her thick, swollen ankles, the way she dangled a cigarette out of the corner of her mouth while talking and the curious eye tic developed when she stopped smoking. Gladys: Godmother to little Carol.

Artwork how to:

  1. Substrate is the inside of an old book cover which makes a very sturdy non-warping collage surface. I love this old but popular inside cover paper and I snap up books whenever I find it. It grunges up nicely and I love the silvery print which is such a pretty surprise.
  2. Materials used:
    • Piece of found rusty screen riveted (It reminded me of the netted veils on ladies’ hats in the 40s and 50s) to the book cover; I use a Crop-A-Dile to set the rivet and I swear it would work even on a piece of glass – it’s that impressively strong! Seriously, I’m kidding – don’t use it on glass.
    • Old book spine – have a shoebox full of ’em
    • Markings: India ink marks, white casein paint, charcoal, pencil, metallic embossing powder heated to melting
    • Scrap from an old wallpaper book
    • Copy of Gladys’ photo (I inherited my parents’ photo box and would never use an original photo of my family in art)
    • Small piece of mica – a symbolic shield to protect Gladys (who passed away years ago)
    • Leather cover of an old advertising incentive pocket telephone book (under Gladys’ photo)
  3. I used YES paste to glue everything down.

Speaking of TRASH:  I’ll bet you’re wondering what my art lab must look like!  I do collect old stuff found and inherited (inclusive of myself) but I limit my hoarding. Once every few months, I’ll toss out remnants that no longer seem interesting or are too small to use in one of my trash-2-collages.  I am reasonably well-organized but against my husband’s better judgement, would easily encroach on other space in the house if he looked the other way for even a brief moment. I NEVER read articles that show an artist’s work space neat and orderly. I never believe it for a minute that someone works that neatly. How is that possible? For me, the creative process is serendipitous. And I guess you’d call it messy.




Juried Art Show “Pick”


“Fortune A” 
8″ x 8″

Artist: Carol A More
National Collage Society – Juried Art Show 2016

This is the epitome of “found” trash.  My husband was helping friends clean out decades of stuff from an enormous house in Ohio. The parents had passed away and the children were far enough along in life to have boxes of their own memories, so had no interest in the teeming trash pile of their parents’ stuff. Out went boxes of memories, including photographs, handwritten letters (one letter from a son pleading with his father to release him for front-line military duty – the father having used congressional connections to keep his son on desk duty), books, cabinet cards, ephemera of all kinds. My husband, like any good husband of a scrounging collage artist, scooped up boxes of what he thought would be interesting material for my art.  He blew me away with his discernment of what went into the box!  It was better than Christmas morning as I touched every single piece. Can’t wait to use the 1945 page-a-day diary of a debutante in college. I read through it like a page-turning mystery novel. This girl’s goals were simple: who am I dining with tonight and which soiree should I attend this weekend and with whom. Not so high on the list: her studies and grades. I found myself involved in the day-to-day life of what must have been a very pretty, privileged deb.

Back to this piece: I love the hand-typed spreadsheet of stocks and which grandchild received it in trust; the mysterious blue flyleaf of an old book, a torn folder from a cabinet card with unidentified photo.  The plastic “f” for Fortune was something I already had in my ever-expanding collection of flea market finds. Marks of crayon, pigment stick, charcoal, my beloved casein paints and …bam…my accepted submission to the National Collage Society’s annual Juried Show.  There’s a strange story that goes with this. I was in serious battle with a scoundrel of a webmaster (WEBSTARTS!  BOOOO!) who held me hostage for weeks, dropping my e-mail into a black hole. During that electronic hell, my acceptance came through for this prestigious show but that’s right…it dropped into the electronic black hole…while I scrambled night and day to resurrect contact with the outside world. Unfortunately, since I didn’t know my piece was selected, I missed the deadline to ship my collage to the show and so wasn’t eligible for a cash prize.  I literally cried when I discovered this, but recovered in a day or two and this piece does show up on their website and printed booklet of works, so…back to my art lab. Again, the light and dark of it – thanks Claudia for this always applicable life view!

New Collage: “Kodachrome”


Artist: Carol A. More

Found myself in a ‘fiddling’ mood today as I ruffled through a box of my old ‘found’ trash that I’d been collecting. But…and this is the most exciting news…it’s what I found YESTERDAY in a sleepy little industry-scarred mountain town about an hour south.

A year’s worth of 1945 LIFE magazines bound  library-style from New York City. I look for decrepit books and magazines that are ready to kindle fire and feel absolutely no guilt extending their life through my collage but this find….ahhhh….I’m in a quandry.  As I flipped through the issues while Michael drove, I realized this was media history and found myself wondering if news was as manipulated then as it is now.  In one of the issues – by the way 1945 was before I landed on this earth which made things particularly surreal – were photos of Nazi suicides which included children, once their hope had expired.  The pics were graphic, seemingly uncensored, grisly and horrific.  I’m sensing I need to read through them first before scissoring them.  Inner convo:  “Don’t worry, Carol, there are millions of bound Life magazines because there are millions of libraries across the USA. Let someone else save ’em. Indulge yourself and cut ’em up!” Counterpoint, “Don’t do it…just DON’T…this is too much precious lost history.”  I do not have school age children but friends who have grandchildren and children tell me that they are not studying this war in school. I’ll keep you posted as my conscience continues the debate and I spend a few hours reading.  BTW, the book was only $20. SCORE!

Back to the collage, much like my own rescued cats, has already found a ‘forever’ home.  Kitty litter boxes are sturdy, solid cardboard and I often use them to contain papers, tissue, supplies, etc. because they fit my shelves.  When I have time, I spray paint them so they look less like kitty litter boxes. Before I could say ‘whoa’, Michael had cut the box up suggesting the now flat box sides were strong enough for collage substrate.  And so….now you see the kitty litter box panel and soon you won’t!  Also a sneak peek at the bound LIFE mags…the ads are enthralling!


I used matte medium to cover the kitty litter box panel with old book pages to give it a bit of “ground” and then built up the collage using scraps from other works. Nothing ‘new’ was harmed in this piece. I found the Kodachrome slide (in color by the way but it’s a moot point because I preferred the blackness of it in this piece) in another box of ‘collage stuff’ I bought from a flea market.  Added India ink blobs, charcoal, oil pastels, casein paint (ahh THAT smell!), acrylic paint, misc. ephemera, sparkly tissue paper (difficult to glue down!) cardboard scraps, book binding material, patterned paper, player piano roll scraps….that’s it.

Happy New (and I mean NEW, Lord have mercy we don’t repeat another 2016!) Year!   To quote my girl, Emily D, “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul….”  May it be ever present in your soul.

“Choose” Recycled Collage

Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday & Happy New Year!  


Collage – 2016

Artist: Carol A. More

This has been one wild, confusing, exciting, hopeful, discouraging year, hasn’t it?  After a few ‘turns around the block’, I’ve learned to never given up hope.  Never.  Hope: My father-in-law is finally being discharged from the hospital after deciding he didn’t want to live any longer following the sudden and shocking passing of his wife of 70 years.  Not to dwell, but all we want for him is to be safe, warm, nourished and at ease.  The light has crept back into his sad eyes and there have been teeny-tiny improvements every day. We’ve decided not to rally him to live longer (he’s a pretty sharp and healthy 96 until falling into the pit of grief) but wishing him ease – no longer asking “How are you today, Daddy?” but instead telling him we are here for him 100% and letting him talk about what he wants to talk about, sometimes content just listening to each other’s breathing over the phone. It’s hard as many of you know. Very hard.

So my artwork follows (thanks to the pivotal and comforting words of my blogger friend, Claudia McGill) the light and dark of life rhythms. I’ve captured the hopefulness and the hopelessness of my work.  Even with Mercury in retrograde – let it all flow….and flow it did with “Choose” a play on words for ‘Shoes’ (which are to die for, aren’t they?)  As you ease into 2017, may you CHOOSE to embrace the light and dark of everything.  CHOOSE order.  CHOOSE chaos.  CHOOSE a lifestyle.  CHOOSE peace or excitement.  Choose to clean those closets, paint those shelves, try new foods.

CHOOSE to make 2017 a lively, hopeful and interesting year. CHOOSE to ask for what you want and CHOOSE to hold your head high. Love and blessings and good health to you all.