Black Willow Collage by David Holcomb

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Black Willow

David Holcomb

United States

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Black Willow

David Holcomb


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Art Description

Collage: Acrylic, Paper on Wood.

"Black Willow", 2017, acrylic and painted and cut paper on wood, 18" wide, 24" tall (45 x 60 cm).

The black willow, a common tree throughout the eastern half of north America, is something of an icon for me, evoking water, filtered sunlight, the gentle sounds and the flickering shadows of the riverbanks and fishing holes of my rural childhood. While the willow is a very real part of my personal landscape, it's also a tree that lives in folklore and literature (most notably in the exhilarating and terrifying story by Algernon Blackwood, titled simply "The Willows"). Rather than depict any single visual scene or personal recollection, I've attempted to convey this complex layering of memory, sensation, and fantasy.

While this picture might properly be categorized as a collage, I think of it more as a painting, in which the paint was applied to various papers and then layered into the final composition; in other words, the fragments cut from the colored surfaces and applied to the panel are my "brushstrokes".

As is often the case, my basic approach was inspired by the example of Paul Klee, with his adventurous use of materials and his profound sense of play. This particular work also draws from the organic pictorial language of Rex Ray, with a nod to the geometry and sense of illusory depth in the work of Irene Rice-Pereira.

The collage fragments are sealed into place with layers of clear acrylic polymer, and the entire image is treated with a UV-resistant varnish to preserve the colors. The painting is signed on front; signed, titled and dated on back; framed and ready to hang.





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