Thames River, Gibbons Park by Sarah Cowling, 10″x10″; collage. Courtesy of the artist.
Sarah Cowling on Why & How She Makes Collage Outside
En plein air (French for “outdoors” or “in the open”) has a long association with painting. In Kolaj 35, Sarah Cowling from London, Ontario, Canada writes about the experience of joining fellow en plein air painters outside to make collage. “I quickly realized that collage outdoors had to be approached in a completely different way from collage indoors. In the studio, I could select and layout colours and themes on my table. Then I would sort, reject and create a layout, usually responding to a core piece. En plein air requires a response to the landscape and the careful choosing of papers. Papers have to be brought out and tried one at a time and glued down quickly to avoid wind gusts. I find that working outside forces me to abstract more and work in blocks of colour.