Mixed Media Collage

This work is about the marriage of disparate elements: paint and paper, rope and cardboard, color and black-and-white. I search for points of connection between the differences and weave them together to form a new, cohesive whole. 

 

While leaning toward the abstract I often utilize recognizable imagery, such as letter forms, doilies and maps. I have a stash of paper, an ongoing collection, made up of anything that catches my eye: shopping bags, wrappers, tickets, boxes. These scraps, with their inherent histories, often provide the starting point for a piece. Using found materials from where I live evokes a specificity of place that I enjoy. But through manipulation the connection remains vague, an echo that feels familiar and unknown at once. 

 

The process is both ordered and chaotic. At various points a message or story will surface and evolve until a clear, even obvious direction comes to light. Letting the work come as it will through the limitation and integrity of material is critical to the endeavor and ultimately to the finished piece.

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Cats I've Known

A mixed media collage project

In 2015 I began a series inspired by my cat Jerome soon after he died. While Jerome meant many things to me he was foremost my studio cat, a companion through countless pieces and several artistic periods. More than a steady presence, over time I began to see that Jerome embodied traits—persistence, focus and an ability to let go of failure—that seemed worth exploring.

 

And so a series was born. I continue to make cats using similar materials: “fur-like” corrugated cardboard, reclaimed window frames with cat “ears” on top and copper wire for whiskers. I strive to capture feline resolution in the face of obstacles. These cats’ grit and grace furnish a model of persistence and lightness of being that intrigues me. I tell myself to be more like them as I struggle through blocks, anxiety and setbacks.

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©2009-2019 Michelle Echenique. All rights reserved.

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