Spotlight on Collage Artist Trading Card Artist Angela Holland
Angela Holland is a mixed media and collage artist working with a spontaneous and intuitive approach. She writes, “I begin by gathering a selection of papers and images—whatever is on hand—based on what appeals to me in the moment. I don’t start with a plan or conscious idea. I turn up the music and begin applying papers to the support. Paint might be used. When something interesting emerges, I interact with that to bring cohesion, but only to a point. What delights me is the play of opposing feelings and forces. And I like a bit of mystery that I can’t quite comprehend.”
Angela Holland was featured in Collage Artist Trading Cards, Pack 5. We asked her some questions about her work.
Who are you? How do you describe yourself?
HOLLAND: Now in my sixties, I’m a mother, a former college English teacher and a semi-retired psychotherapist. I am a practising mixed media collage artist living in Santa Barbara, California.
How did you come to be a collage artist?
HOLLAND: I have needed my life to be full of novelty and adventure and literature and art. I’ve been a bit of a malcontent as well, compulsively rearranging the furniture, literally and figuratively. Perhaps I should say I’m an explorer! About five years ago, I got the idea to try encaustic painting and I set up a space where I could do that. It was incredibly frustrating—I had not yet learned patience—and I had no clue what I was doing but somehow I kept at it. Pretty soon I switched to acrylic paint and worked at that for several years, taking classes and workshops with artists I admired.
Then I found collage and my identity as an artist began to form. Something about the intuitive process of applying paper to a support and watching until something interesting emerges is endlessly fascinating. The creative experience becomes as much about seeing as doing. I am amazed at what results when I stop trying to control it. Working with paper offers such versatility—to change directions quickly or explore different possibilities without having to act on them.
How do you describe your work?
HOLLAND: My work is almost exclusively abstract, a style I first fell in love with in my teens. Other than an occasional face or hand, there is nothing representational in what I do. Bold line work and asemic text are elements I enjoy and I use colour and texture to express states of feeling or being. I want to make art that is both aesthetically pleasing and edgy.
What collage artists inform your work?
HOLLAND: The classic collage of Kurt Schwitters or Robert Motherwell interests me most, along with the work of Richard Diebenkorn and Cy Twombly. I aspire to create work that bears looking at and living with, offering fresh revelations over time.
Can you explain the idea behind Dubiously Credentialed?
HOLLAND: My work comes from an unconscious place. I never intend to convey any statement or message or construct any narrative. Implications I may discover after a piece is completed are of a highly personal nature, often utterly beyond words. It’s nice if a viewer finds some meaning or resonance. As for the title, I came across the phrase later and thought it might fit. Perhaps that seemed an ironic label for the face peering out from the pink portal.
Why did you want to make this work?
HOLLAND: I worked on this series of four panels over a weekend and my thought was to explore bolder colour than I had before. And to see if I could let go a bit more and trust the process. It was an experiment, as most of my work is.
What are you working on these days?
HOLLAND: I’m working on a series of small 5×7” collages on paper, four to six at a time. I have completed about two dozen so far. The challenge I have given myself is to reduce the amount of information I put into each collage, to trust fewer elements to make the point. Of course this takes a greater level of confidence. I am trying to think about making a “gesture” rather than a whole detailed story. I suspect this will be an ongoing lesson.
I’m also trying to “translate” some of the more successful small collages onto 30×40” wood panels using paint and paper. I’m finding myself overthinking it. Funny how the larger format knocks me right out of my comfort zone. But it’s important to me to always be pushing my edges.
PURCHASE Collage Artist Trading Cards, Pack 5.