I am a collage artist. I approach collage from the perspective of a painter – my original creative discipline. Whatever type of traditional subjects I pursue – landscape, portrait, still life – the process of collage gives me scope to see them again as something completely new.
Teaching the art of collage to children originally provided the stimulus to find out what is possible when using collage. Eight years later I am still exploring the limits of this medium and what I can and cannot do. I have not yet found its boundaries.
Rather than relying on found materials, my practice involves the development of all my materials. My palette of colours is derived from handmade coloured collage papers which are integral to my artistic practice. I make all my own coloured papers using diverse techniques and each one is unique. I use acrylic paint with processes such as spatter painting, glazing, wax or alcohol resist, scratching, stamping, and monotype printing. I may use only one technique per paper or several.
The starting point for every collage is a drawing. I use drawing to experiment with and plan the composition and basic areas of colour in the image. My master drawing is then transferred, using tracing paper, section by section to the painted papers of my palette. The chosen papers are then cut, assembled, and glued onto wooden panels according to the drawn design. This is not a fast process. However the resulting work is very rich in both colour and texture and there is a lot to stimulate the eye of the viewer.
I find most of my subject matter in the rural community and the environment in which I have lived for most of my life. The animals and the landscape often feature in my collages.
Alyson Champ was born and raised in the Chateauguay Valley, southwest of Montreal, Quebec. She studied painting and drawing at Vanier College, The Saidye Bronfman School of Fine Art, and Concordia University, all in Montreal, Quebec.