Collage, Creating Inspiration from a New Form

The Unboxed collage forms from Janice McDonald

“Unboxed 003,” 17 x 9″ collage on granola bar box.

It’s remarkable where inspiration comes from for artists. I’m not talking about the kind that suddenly gives you that direction in art that you know will be the door opener to New York,  or where ever. No, this is about the bump you get from looking at someone’s art. It’s about feeling like that would be something you’d like to try and maybe add to the reference points you keep in your head when creating your art.
The collage art of Janice McDonald’s hit me that way.

As a collage artist she was completely aware of edges and how they fit into her work. But then she started looking at the support of the work and its edges. She felt she could push the boundaries of collages past the hard edges and onto a support that was more random. As Janice puts it in her blog

It all started with boxes…
An avid recycler, I find myself carefully deconstructing and flattening the many boxes that flow through our household. I’m struck by the beauty and craft in these common materials. The packages have surprising perimeters, that are revealed once taken apart, and unexpected details in their construction.

UNBOXED is the series shown at the Spark Gallery.  It was the culmination of the exploration for Janice and it is quite remarkable. Combining the ephemeral so dear to collagists with the salvaged boxes of everyday use provides us with a look into new relationships. And while the work is primarily non-objective, you can see that the future directions will be as exciting as this new concept. You can see additional work by this artist at her website

Here’s the piece I completed with much thanks to Janice for the inspiration.


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Donald Kolberg graduated with a Fine Arts Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. He taught at the Los Angeles School of Art and co-founded Art Core, an organization dedicated to the open dialogue and display of the work of emerging artists. He continued his Master studies at Otis Art Institute. While at Otis Art Institute his teacher and main influence was internationally recognized painter Arnold Mesches. In Artcore he worked under the guidance of Lydia Takashita. With their teaching Donald learned the value of depth, texture and form in images and surface. He incorporated this into his concept of Life Forms, the portrayal of the human figure as a landscape of life and a celebration of form through Sculpture and Painting.

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