Resist and do it anyway

I recently joined a Masters Class and Collage class taught by Barbara Minch out of the Maplewood South Orange Adult School.

Having done collage for so long I have to admit to having some resistance in embracing a suggested collage process. The resistance was not going to stop me experimenting but it was interesting to ponder why it was there. So much of making art and being creative is about experimentation and making mistakes. It is a shame when resistance and fear get in the way.

Below are 2 images I created from the Collage class. The first is the initial 12″ x 18″ collage on 100% cotton watercolour paper 200 g/m2 made in the 2 hour class. It is assembled using magazine paper and glue stick.


EJMunro – Resistance -12 x 18″ Magazine Collage, 2013


The second is an in progress version on a wood panel 20″ x 30″.

Mixed Media

EJMunro – Resistance- In progress – 20 x 30″ Mixed Media – Magazine paper and acrylic paint, 2013

The original image was scanned and flipped and printed out in tiles with an ink jet printer on plain paper. I then roughly transferred the image using a technique demonstrated by Barbara. In the absence of a Gel medium I experimented with Modge Podge and a Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish. The medium is painted onto the panel and the image is placed ink down onto the panel. I used a brayed to roll the image flat and then rubbed the image with my fingers to assist the ink taking to the panel. I then peeled off the back layer of paper. Some attempts peeled off perfectly while others not so well. It is a method of trial and error in regards to surface and medium used. I got enough of the image onto the panel to suit my purposes of creating a mixed media image using acrylic paint.


NY Galleries

Relocation life is settling to a nice pace which has allowed me to start exploring galleries in NYC.

I am delighted to have found the Pavel Zoubok Gallery through an online search for collage related galleries.

The space is great and an easy walk from NY Penn. The manager Steve Weintraub was extremely informative. The exhibition was ECCE HOMO: THOMAS LANIGAN SCHMIDT AND THE ART OF REBELLION June 6 – July 19, 2013.

The work included was gorgeously, ornate and dazzlingly intriguing. Walking in without any history to the exhibition or artists the blinkered assumption gravitated to the view of female, craft bound works. Far from the truth and evident with a focused viewing. The origins and motivation for the work was inspiring to discover.

NY Star

Beauty, fame, fortune, grandeur, opulence, pride, passion, imperfection, loss, confusion, demise. An icon, a star, a human. Rita Hayworth.


Ebb, flow and transformation

After a reasonably intense period of art making it is time to transform from part time artist to  full time mother until mid September. The US summer holidays are upon us and apart from the occasional outsourcing of care in the name of ‘fun’ activities I will be chief supervisor and entertainment coordinator. Note to self – Hang on, breath deeply often and keep a sketch pad handy incase there is time and head space for thoughts and sketches of new work!

The work featured here was transformed from a photograph by Jacques Dequeker of model Emanuela de Paula. The photograph struck me not only as a challenge to replicate but the basis of a work with a spiritual dimension. The painting of the image as well as the addition of magazine images and colour highlights transform Submerged to an image not only about beauty but about the opulence of nature and spirit.  It is an attempt to inspire serenity whilst evoking intrigue. What is it really about? Expression of the non-rational.

FYI – The initial painted copy can be seen in an earlier post.

Submerged - EJM - 2013

Submerged – EJM – 2013

Exhibiting again

I am very excited to announce that from May 17th my work will be in a group exhibition, Fashion as Muse, at Studio Montclair, New Jersey.

I have 2 works in the show. ‘Salty Siren’ and ‘Muse in Iceberg Dress’. Both have been posted before but I have been finessing them ready to varnish so I will post them again.

Krista at Mona Lisa Framing did a fantastic job framing ‘Salty Siren’.

Salty Siren, EJMunro - Apr 2013 Muse In IcebergDress, EJMunro - Apr2013


Settling in and local art classes

Maplewood/South Orange NJ is an excellent place for taking art classes. At the moment I am  refining my skills with a view to doing intuitive mixed media portraits. I am experimenting with photographs, painting, collage and also transferring images onto different types of papers and surfaces.

I have taken a few art classes since moving to South Orange NJ which have been great for improving my skills and meeting some excellent teachers and lovely people.

I have done some water color classes with Evelyn Graves at the 1978 Gallery in Maplewood NJ. Evelyn also does amazing collage work. Very inspiring!
Thank you Kathryn Huang Photography for the DSLR Demystified class. A one off fund raising class for Marshall Elementary in South Orange, NJ. I learnt an immense amount about my camera in 1 1/2 hours. It was brilliant.
Thank you Dorothy Kuehn for 3 x 3 hour Mixed Media and Digital Art classes at The Baird South Orange NJ . Dot and Jan Kerr had fabulous information about printing and transferring digital images to all sorts of surfaces. It was fantastic and my class ladies were lovely.
Last but not least I am working on my figurative painting skills using acrylic with some weekly classes at Geralyn’s Art Studio in Maplewood NJ .


Helpless denial

Casual wear in urban cascade

It is probably evident that most of my work incorporates a contemplation of the natural world and the human (female) place within it.  These thoughts are tied to an idealised remembrance of a childhood spent exploring nature in the near pristine urban bush of an Australian seaside suburb and being able to immerse myself in the glorious playground of the beach and ocean. I feel blessed for that time and the inner freedom it gave me. I feel a little sad that my children, for many reasons, won’t experience anything like it.

“Casual wear by urban cascade” expresses, among other things, a helplessness relating to the change we are imposing on our world.  How will Earth be in 100 years from now? How will she be in 1000?

Time Warp in the GNYA Aug 2012 – Feb 2013

Surrogate Self - Mixed media collage © EJMunro 2013

Surrogate Self – Mixed media collage © EJMunro 2013

Has it really been that long since I made use of this Blog I thought was a good idea to create?
Here are some recent works since settling in South Orange NJ – the Greater New York Area. What a feat of international relocation. Moving half way round the world is not for the faint of heart or the haters of freezing temperatures!