There’s a store in Dallas, Texas named Paper Arts (formerly, Paper Routes) that sells handmade, custom and decorative papers. Like some people browse department stores and boutiques taking in the latest fashions, back in the 1980s it was a fine treat for me to browse through the rows and stacks of beautiful assorted papers, gathering inspiration. It was as stimulating as visiting an art museum or gallery. There were times the colors and, or textures of a particular paper were so wonderful, I simply had to make a purchase, if only to take home and relish, as I traced its marvelously textured surface with my fingers.
Before long, I’d built a collection of art papers. After admiring them for a while, I decided to cover a small box with torn bits of these papers. My first collage design! It was a gift box—the box being the gift! The result is seen in the photo on the upper left.
My next project was decorating a series of one-of-a-kind storage boxes, after my mother took a fancy to one, and used it to store her hats. In the 1940s she was definitely a hat, and feathers & flowers in her hair lady—the flowers, a la Billie Holiday.
Decorating surfaces with collages turned out to be such an exciting, one step dictates the next kind of process—like the process of painting—it was a natural transition to move from these craft projects, to creating these more visually powerful, and emotionally stirring statements, Brandfort Boy and Night, Mother!