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.




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