Wait! If you don’t know what a “blep” is, go here for the definition because otherwise some of this post won’t make sense: https://www.dictionary.com/e/slang/blep/.
The in-process image above is the paper collage I’m working on today. It began life in November (2022). I had other pieces to do at the time so I decided to temporarily shelve it, unfinished. This is what it looked like when I put it away:
You may recognize the digital collage I created using the photo above as the base image:
Now it’s February, and for the past two weeks I’ve been struggling with “creative direction” (what I love doing versus what I can do that is likely to sell). Today I decided to stop struggling and just enjoy playing with paper again.
So…I found that unfinished paper collage and went back to work. And, five minutes in, I suddenly noticed the BLEP! The previously blah face had something to say, a reason for its existence!
A little process information:
When I do paper collages I usually rip the pieces but occasionally make clean cuts for definition. Most often, my plan is to fully cover the ground with colors and textures that gradually form a structure. But “Blep” had a basic structure (a face) already because when I started it last year – before it was “Blep” – I wanted a face immediately. So this experience is slightly different. I’ll use both strategies in the future.
The paper that I tear/cut comes from old advertising circulars, discarded wrapping paper, brochures, and pieces of mulberry paper from “Scrap Packs” sold by “Blick Materials.” I use liquid glue and glue sticks for the adhesive. Usually, the ground is a piece of discarded cardboard but sometimes a canvas board or a stretched canvas. “Blep” is on sheet of cardboard I saved from a box of canned cat food.
Here’s a detail from “Blep:”
It’s easy to see the mulberry paper fibers in the photo above. My choice of adhesive is partially dictated by what I want those mulberry paper fibers to do. Liquid glue allows me to move and place the fibers where I want them. Sometimes, if I twist the fibers they untwist in the glue and make shapes on their own. That’s exciting! Glue sticks require some planning because once the glued fibers land on the ground they resist movement. I enjoy using both methods.
So there it is, the story behind “Blep.” It has a long way to go before it’s finished. When it’s done I’ll scan it, probably do a little editing to the image file, then upload it to my Shop on Redbubble.
Here’s another cut/torn paper piece that’s already there:
It’s called “Bats at Sunset” and is available on the full range of Redbubble products.