I've wanted to do some larger collages for some time now -- I've done nothing but miniatures (ACEOs) and 5 x 7 pieces for months now, and I was feeling a little stale. So last night I started this piece.
It went through a few iterations. One of the nice things about collage is its flexibility -- if one incarnation doesn't work, well, one can just keep pasting things on until something emerges.
In its first incarnation, the overpainted photo of Maria Callas (my muse, in many different ways) was surrounded by some very pretty modern papers interspersed with vintage text.
It was ... pretty. And boring.
I showed it to my guy, David, who spotted the problem right away. "The edges need more intensity", he said, wisely.
So. back to the worktable I went. In my quest for darker and more intense border material, I started tearing up some reproductions of great artworks: landscapes to begin with, but then I tore up my first Madonna and Child, and it all came together.
The background was originally red -- after using the art snippets for the border, I overpainted the red with umbers, burnt and raw.
Maria Callas is a Madonna without Child. She created herself (there's a little snippet in the lower left hand corner from a painting of a woman painting ...) in her own image.
In fact, she's an icon.
Which is the title of the piece.