Bobbi Kittner

Creating art has become my dialogue with the uncertainty of living, being a woman and a mother. My collage work weaves together torn texture and color, often connecting back to an inner memory or emotion. The color, smell or texture of found paper usually sparks the initial idea. From there I start creating a pile of hand-painted papers in colors that enhance the “spark.” I then sketch out organic shapes or patterns inspired by the spark. I can get lost in this process for days, keeping my hands busy until the pile becomes overwhelming. It is usually when my space becomes congested with color and I’m almost drunk on ideas that my survivor skills kick in and I start ironing bits of paper down to my board. My sketches are forgotten and it is the rhythm of tears, texture and color which inform. Movement becomes key and I focus on how one piece flows to the next. Unlike my graphic design work, there is no client editing my ideas or suggesting a different color palette. Sometimes my art is not attractive, or mesmerizing, or even interesting. Sometimes it is just bad and wonky. But the process of making it is, without fail, always authentic, nurturing and informative. For me the process is the true event and not the actual piece.

About my process…
The only time I iron is during my collage making process. My method is to coat both sides of a piece of paper with polymer medium. I hang these treated papers to dry on racks I’ve created from old window screens. Once the paper is dry I start tearing and weaving it together with other pieces of treated paper. After I commit to a flow, I iron these pieces down onto the substrate using a quilting iron. I usually paint this layer to enhance the lines and tears, and then repeat the whole process again until a painting emerges.