I started out knowing I wanted it to be a 'library' based theme and hoped to find local library ephemera to apply to it. I hunted Etsy, Ebay, thrift shops and yes even the local libraries for paper to add to this piece.
My first task was to take a sheet out of one of my many encyclopedias that was all about libraries - tear it strategically and place it on the six mini 4x4" canvases. I adhered them using YES! glue. This is my favorite glue to use for this type of collage. I pulled out some vintage LOCAL library pockets, cards and return slips that she was able to pull out of some old library books (from a library that no long exists)! This is where the fun begins - trying to find the perfect spot for the placement of each piece. It is not as easy as one might think.
You can see by the photos that only the encyclopedia papers are adhered down, I tore some washi tapes and put them on in offsetting areas. I was trying to keep more towards a light (white) palette, but soon found that was not going to work.
Originally I wanted a large book cover to use as my base, but after using six of the mini canvases, I couldn't find one large enough. So I went into my stash of wooden cradled boards, I pulled out a 12x24" one and got to work laying down some sheets.
At this point I had more or less decided on using the two by three grid format for the canvases and directed them toward the bottom right. What I hadn't decided was on what was going to be on the canvases. I was having an issue committing...which usually means I don't like it.
I couldn't decide on the main focal piece - it took me walking away for a day (or two) and asking a friend for her input. I finally decided on the vintage check out sheet that was stamped with dates 40+ years ago from a library on the base that no longer exists.
Finally happy with the placement of most - mu next step was to figure out how to get my idea of the main focal point - a saying I use a lot - onto the collage with out wrecking it. My first thought was a transparency (but I couldn't find my box of them...and we all know how impatient I am)
So first, I did a mock up on simple copy paper to see it that was what I wanted...yes, it was. So the hunt was on...for two days!
I did a mock up of it on an encyclopedia page, which I really liked...if I hadn't already had some amazing vintage maps underneath. Onto the search for the missing box of transparencies!
Then finally the search yielded me my missing box of transparencies...yay me! Now I just had to decide its' placement.
Now came the time to start fine tuning the collage elements. Adding some more bits here and there...it was still missing something. I also needed to finally adhere the mini canvases as well. I used some Titebond III glue which is a very good quality wood glue. When all glued, I put a stack of heavy books on top and allowed to set over night.
Hard to see in the photos, but I mixed white gesso and rubbing alcohol and scraped it onto a few areas to distress the look and not allow it to be too crisp looking.
I was texting back and forth to a friend telling her that this was going to be the death of me and she asked me to send her the entire image (I'd only been sharing peaks of it), she suggested a globe. I liked the idea, but couldn't find what I had imagined. Then, while digging through my file of 'maps' I came across the perfect atlas page. I cut out the 'globe' and placed it similar to the way I had the check out sheet...perfect!
I also took similar paper elements and continued piecing in so the sides were all covered as well.
Once it was all set, I took it outside and sealed it with a UV protectant Varnish
and called her done!
Taking it to her yesterday and seeing her pure joy and excitement of receiving it made all the weeks of frustration worth it...enjoy it Cindy...you deserve it!