Breadfruit Ma‘afala

20 04 2018

While the inspiration for my latest art was a leaf from the Ma‘afala breadfruit tree outside my window, the finished pieces look little like the actual plant.

The leafy model

My medium—hand-dyed tissue paper collage—lends itself to abstract images. It is tricky to determine the final color of a section that has been layered with the tissue, and the final result is rarely what the artist had in mind in the beginning. When stuck in the creating process, my teacher the late Susan Rogers-Aregger would say, “Glue another paper over it!” But because of all that, surprising results of color and luminescence can be had.

Several folks commented they liked a preview of the finished collages that I posted as photos on social media just before I took them to the frame shop. I was so excited to finish and show them. I admit they were a tad tacky from the final varnish. Framers don’t like that, but this time it was darn near dry!

The actual dimensions are 22″ x 28″ each, and the two were designed as a diptych to hang together, yet each panel can stand alone. I started with a palette of greens and reds and soon changed it to  a triad of complementary colors: violet, green, and orange. I haven’t even given the collages a title yet. Hmmm, maybe it will be “Breadfruit” and “Ma‘afala.”


Dried and fallen

I thought it was finished…

27 04 2014

… until I looked at it again in a different light. Even my teacher said it was “pau” (finished) when she saw the first photo of it on Facebook.

When I brought the collage to the next studio session for a group critique, we stared at it from a distance and under a skylight. The consensus was to strengthen the value of two areas on the bottom.

So I did, and to me the change made a more successful and more attractive piece.

Isn’t that true of life? Sometimes we ponder and struggle to make things just so, willing to put others’ opinions above our own, but the something isn’t quite right. Something about it bothers us.

Then, by letting it rest and revisiting it from a different angle in a new light, we notice just a small tweak here and there brings the subject into focus.



The “before” — a collage from my hand-dyed paper



“After” I added darker pink tints of paper at the bottom. It’s a subtle change that shifts the viewer’s focus.

Copyright 2014 Rebekah Luke

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