Serendipity Collage

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Before the birds were singing, I was painting in the studio.  Movement, release, energy, play.  All of these things were at work as the sun was coming up over the Atlantic.  The painting I was working on is not done, but I was culling older collage pieces to recycle them into new work and SeRenDIpiTY intervened.  Amongst some collages in a stack was a photo of my grandmother Mabel printed on organza almost three years ago.  I had never done anything with it because there was never the right piece that came into being.  It’s a rather dramatic photo portrait in sepia tones taken probably in the 1920’s.  I looked at it and thought, wow, I should just make something with it after all this time.  Fingers loose from painting and playing; I began to move the photo fabric over several collage scraps and took a couple instragram shots.

I knew, right then, that this photo needed to become a series, over collages that could speak to different parts of Mabel’s personality.  Stay tuned.

But the most important piece is the SeRenDIpiTY that came from messing about with the paint.  Moving paint and releasing pent up energy out into the universe led to…..led to…..led to….and will always in my mind lead to where you need to be going. Paint away.

Mabel 2 11613Mabel in color

Mabel 11613Mabel in black and white.




  1. I can’t wait to see more of her! I love that you let her tell you when she was ready to become!

  2. While I haven’t been creative using paints/collage for three years yet, I can certainly see where stuff will hang around my art room for a long time, waiting, waiting. How cool that you came across Mabel exactly when you were ready. She’s a great lady to have in your art – I look forward to more.

  3. Family… special memories!

  4. Your grandmother’s eyes look very much like my grandmother’s eyes, that sleepy heavy lidded look. This is very intriguing, looking forward to seeing more of it.

  5. What a thrill it must be to have this photo, Corrine! She has been patiently waiting all this time, and now she has reached out to you. I love the black’n’white one here and can’t wait to see the series. Amazing how the same photo looks so differently in just these two settings! This is going to be a true work of (he)art!

  6. Wonderful idea to use Mabel’s image over multiple collage backgrounds to express her personality! I love using old images in collage. Thanks for the inspiration! Xoxo

  7. wonderful way to honor your grandma… amazing!

  8. I love the feeling that she is emerging from these collages. Beautiful.

  9. This is terrific Corrine! Love Mabel’s expression; what a meaningful journey she’s taking you on! xxoo

  10. Wow, that is one beautiful and ethereal piece of art Corrine, way to go sweetie. I don’t think you can beat that personal element with such a fab family photo, beautifully done.
    Huge hugs x x x x

  11. I am in love with this photo. .that worn look and the sentiment.. just amazing. I can’t to see more.

  12. Mabel looks great in all colors! I am so glad she spoke to you, and I can’t wait to see what else she says!

  13. Surreal, yet down to earth. A contradiction in paint and organza. A series in the making.

  14. we need to do some kind of joint thing! my grandmother was Mabel too! but she didnt lo0k at all like yours! what fun you are having and your grandma would be proud! My grandma was an artist. she was stone deaf from some childhood disease but she could paint, sew, embroider you name it!And cook great stuff! maybe we need a grandma book!

  15. I have a feeling I came across your blog, at just the right time. I have Grandmas lurking about as well!

  16. This is super. So glad you have a picture of your grandmother
    to play with. I love old photos. I like to think about what
    their lives were like, what were the cities like, the houses–big porches…
    See what one picture of Mabel did…

  17. Loving the many faces of Mable. Makes me think of my grandma Tootz. She kept her girdle and a pair of scissors in a safe, nothing else… I would have to pull up to a side door in her apartment building and she would sneak out past her neighbors. Yeah, she was a bit nutty but boy do I miss her!

  18. Morning is my favorite time to create. I have two mornings a week to do so, and otherwise I work at night.
    This is beautiful!

  19. These are so wonderful; I love the idea of using the same print on different backgrounds and taking pictures!

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