Much of my creative process starts with making marks. In the spirit of Valentine’s day I’ve had a little fun in the studio.

To start I have my ‘speedy-cut’ carving block by Speed ball and a carving tool. These can be purchased at your local art supply store and if they don’t carry Speed Ball products there are many alternatives out there. You could even use an eraser or a potato to carve a block or stamp from.

I’ve cut out three shapes and carved different patterns into each of them. The final collage will have layers of colour and texture so the shapes need to stand out from each other. An easy way to do that is by changing the patterns on each shape.

Next I applied some acrylic paint with a brush onto the blocks. Flip them over and pressed down firmly onto the paper surface. I make sure to smooth out the paint on the block with my brush in order to keep the image as crisp as I can when it get’s printed. I also ran the point of the brush through the areas that were carved away to pull the paint out of those areas, which further helps with getting that crisp image. There are tools out there like rollers that can make this process cleaner but there’s something to be said for getting your hands dirty every once in a while.

I really like introducing colour and texture through various papers.  So I went through a box of scrap cards and collage papers that I've collected over the years. After selecting a variety of papers I started to think about the composition.  I cut out the printed circle and fixed it onto the turquoise paper using a glue stick. Then I layered the next print crossing over both the circle and onto the turquoise paper. From here on out it really is just about layering and adding to the collage until you feel it's finished.

It’s hard not to obsess over getting a perfect print but the important thing is to enjoy the creative process and the unexpected outcomes. I remember hearing Karl Lagerfeld say that some of his best work came out of mistakes that he made and I embrace that in my own work.

Stay tuned! I think that this little bit of fun might be leading to something bigger…

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