Mushroom Mania 9

Working in a series really suits my artistic methods. Exploring an idea in depth allows my creativity to really flow. My latest series is Mushroom Mania. The colors and shapes of these amazing fungi offered endless delights in design and technique.

I created this series while studying with Tara Oxford in her Art & Design with Gel Printing. The online course was produced by Fibre Arts Take Two and they do a fantastic job. This module centered on botanical collage. First, I printed a lot of backgrounds with layers of color and texture to create a dark, complex look. A few of the backgrounds are actually mediocre watercolor paintings that I overprinted enough to obscure the original image. Then, I printed dozens of patterned and textured papers in a rainbow of colors. The simple, graphic shapes of the mushrooms showcased the fantastic printed papers beautifully. Amazingly enough, all of these collages are based on actual mushrooms- those intense colors and quirky details are real. I did have to interpret and simplify, but I feel I stayed true to the essence of every one.

Each collage began with a drawing on tracing paper. Using Saral wax transfer paper the individual parts were drawn on the chosen paper. Once the pieces were cut, it was like a jigsaw puzzle reassembling them. My studio floor was covered with snippets of paper for days! After assembly, I studied each image and decided how to add details that mimicked the real mushroom but also contributed to the art itself. For this step, Sennelier oil pastels, Posca paint pens, and Daler Rowney acrylic ink were used.

This Mushroom Mania series was fun and challenging to create and the colors are so happy on those dark, moody backgrounds. I have a lot of leftover paper so I suspect there’s more collage fun to come.

Mushroom Mania 10
Mushroom Mania 8
Mushroom Mania 7
Mushroom Mania 6
Mushroom Mania 5
Mushroom Mania 4
Mushroom Mania 3
Mushroom Mania 2