Sunday, 4/4/10: Addie Boswell

Addie Boswell is an artist, writer, and illustrator who works in a variety of media, including collage and oil painting.  Her recent children’s book, The Rain Stomper won the 2008 Oregon Spirit Book Award.  Addie joined us again this year for An Artist A Day, and made a piece quite different from the magazine-paper collage she made in ’09.  Her piece today incorporated newspapers, playing cards, and her own black-paper cutouts to create a scene inspired by our current blustery wet weather.

In many of her collages, Addie carefully sorts and arranges magazine clippings by color, value (lights and darks), and patterns to assemble images that look both photographic and painterly.  In more recent years, Addie has explored the ancient art of black-paper silhouettes.  Today, for the first time, she combined these two techniques.  In order to help the cutouts stand out from the background, she limited her materials to black-and-white newspapers rather than using colored clippings.  She cut and pasted playing cards onto her background, then started drawing and cutting shapes from black paper.  As she built her collage, she also added red swatches to add an accent color to her black-and-white composition.

In order to let her composition develop, Addie pinned elements to her background so she could move them around as she worked.  She frequently stood back from her piece to look at the balance and arrangement of shapes and colors, and also took digital pictures in case she wanted to refer back to a previous arrangement of shapes.

To glue her paper pieces down, Addie used clear acrylic polymer, generally used as a painting medium to extend or add transparency to acrylic colors.  Acrylic mediums work very well as both an adhesive and a clear top coat.

The leaf-shaped cutouts in Addie’s piece were ones she had cut before and kept for possible use in future works.  The umbrella, cityscape, and portrait were elements that she drew and cut today specifically to add to this work.

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