"Backstories 16", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Backstories 16”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

I’ve been preparing the series “Backstories” for some time. It’s for the annual small art holiday special. “Backstories”  is shared first to the loyal readers of my lovingly written emails and blogs as an appreciative thank you only on this website, where you can read the stories on each. This year readers will get their email on Monday November 29. Then the art will be available to the public at the regular price until December 8.

The 16 collages were created last June while I was focused on the main series of 2021, the artist books of “Alexander’s Library”, I needed a change of medium and I  knew it would get busy in the fall with the annual autumn open studio. Motivation rules in the studio.

For years I have collected and stored ephemera, inspired by Joseph Cornell’s art of filing papers. I finally asked myself, “Why was I holding on to them”? This was the question addressed in my recent series “Backstories”, composed of 16 collages, 5×5” mounted on board, each accompanied by the stories of the papers chosen in the design.

"Backstories 8", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Backstories 8”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

I challenged myself to use these special paper bits that I have been hoarding in the studio: like parts of a watercolor from 1978, painted map sections, a certain beloved coral color, snips of my invented scripts.

Working on this series, I revisited the joy of combining collage with drawing and most importantly, writing the stories about the papers that seemed to be reaching relic status.

"Backstories 6", detail, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Backstories 6”, detail, by Kathleen O’Brien

%d bloggers like this: