Throwback Thursday: Fountain Collage

Today’s Throwback is another favorite of mine:

Fountain collage

Title: Reflections

Size: Mounted on 20″ x 30″ foam core

Medium: Photographs on foam core

When: Spring semester 2003

Purpose: Class assignment for my intro to art class

History: The assignment was to find an object we really liked, photograph various parts of the object, and once our pictures were developed, put the pictures back together to make the original object. The end result reminds me of Pablo Picasso’s Cubism pieces!

Thought Process: As soon as Tim, our professor, gave this assignment, I instantly knew what I was going to photograph: the Special Olympics fountain by the campus library where I worked. When the weather was good, I’d take the back way to my dorm and walk past it, or even go study or relax by it when I had the chance.

The Special Olympics fountain at SUNY Brockport

After getting my pictures the way I wanted them, I started putting the fountain together, just like the assignment said to. At this point, I had already switched my major to art, and Tim was aware of this. He came over to me as I was working in class, and told me that because I was now an art major, he was going to challenge me to break the assignment rules. He wanted me to reconstruct the fountain, but tweak it in a way that you still knew what it was, but it wasn’t what my pictures were of. As I had already cut some of the photos, and being a broke college student, it proved to be a difficult task to do as I couldn’t afford to redevelop my pictures. But, it did help me to learn to be okay with doing abstract thinking, something I was going to need in my future art classes.

Problems I encountered: The first set of photos I took didn’t turn out. I’m not sure what I messed up, but even though I was standing right next to the fountain, it looked like I was two miles away. The photos were completely unusable, so I had to rush to retake and redevelop them in order to have the assignment done on time.

Also trying to figure out a different way to reassemble the fountain was a bit challenging!

Fun tidbits: Three of us students in the class chose the fountain as our subject matter!

The reflection part of the piece is actually just the left hand side of the fountain; I just put it upside down to make a reflection.

Favorite part: Just looking at it, actually. Brockport was my home, it’s where my daughter was born, it’s where I met my husband. It brings back warm fuzzy feelings and makes me happy!

Least favorite part: It’s totally silly, but because the reflection is just the left hand side of the fountain just turned upside down, there’s no reflection of the building. It bugs me. A lot.


What would you have chosen as subject matter for this project?

Throwback Thursday: Collage

It’s Thursday! Here’s another piece from the past:


Title: Untitled (Alien Collage)

Medium: Collage; magazine pages on paper

Size: 10″ x 8″

When: Fall semester of my sophomore year of college; 2003

Purpose: 2D art class assignment

History: My Two Dimensional (2D) art class was my first official class as an art major. It was nerve wracking for me to be with all these other artists. I remember the first couple weeks of classes my professor completely ignored me other than taking attendance. At the end of a couple weeks I thought I was a failure; he would give feedback and help everyone in the class but me, and I was ready to quit. I stayed after class one day, and asked him why he wouldn’t help me with my projects. Do you know what he did?

He laughed at me.

I tried to not cry as I started to turn to leave. Immediately he apologized for laughing and not helping; he said that I was making such progress on my own and just so in the zone with my projects he didn’t want to interrupt me. Before you start thinking that this professor was completely awful and unprofessional, he ended up being a wonderful mentor and friend over my remaining years at school. After after our confrontation, he was much better at giving me feedback or even just stopping to say I was on the right track.

This project was just working on taking random images from magazines, cutting them down into equal sized squares, and piecing them together to make a new image.

Thought process: I remember feeling frustrated with this assignment. Every time I’d think of some sort of design to make, I’d either not be able to find the lines/colors/objects I wanted from the magazines, or the images wouldn’t flow nicely together. I ended up just ripping a large amount of image pages out of magazines, and then making a stencil with my square shape on it, putting it on my papers until I found a composition I liked, and then would cut it out.

I ended up with a ton of small squares, but still had no final design in mind. I sat for hours, either in the class or in my dorm, just putting the square pieces next to each other, trying to find ways for them to fit together and create some kind of flow.

Once I decided to just do that and forget about trying to have a final design pictured, it really took away my stress and freed me up to be creative. Putting together pieces became easy, and it ended up making some sort of a picture in the end 🙂

Problems I encountered: A whole long list of them, mostly things I already mentioned.

Fun tidbits: I always think of the aliens from the movie Independence Day when I look at this piece. To me, it looks like a red faced alien is looking towards the left side of the piece, with long dreadlocks hanging down on the right side of the piece. Totally unintentional, but cool. I used to really be big into alien themed things, so it’s kind of funny this turned out alien like 🙂

Favorite part of the piece: Having it done and seeing how the images kind of flow into each other, creating shape and lines.

Least favorite part of the piece: Even with all my measuring and using a stencil, not all the pieces line up. I had to color in some white spots between the squares where the paper was shining through. You can’t really tell in this picture, but it’s obvious to me.

Also, while photographing this piece, the sun decided to come out and there’s glare on my image. I didn’t notice until writing this blog. Apparently I’m even worse at this than I thought! 😀


Do you see the alien, or do you see something else?