This small collage on a 4x5 ready-made canvas sat around my workroom for such a long time, feeling not quite done.
It began with a haunting face from Wisconsin Death Trip, by Michael Lesy, a wonderful book that continues to inspire.
She's the beautiful daughter of an exopthalmic family I sketched in charcoal from an antique photograph.
The other day I realized she is iconic, so I treated her that way, adding a frame of antique blue tatting (by Mrs. Hogdahl), a carved bone earring from the past, and two old grey mother of pearl buttons, collaged with eyes you may recognize -- I wont tell who, you have to guess. Behind the rose is a dried fungus from a recent woodland hike with the words "the quick eyes of a lover" collaged onto it, backed by tea stained crocheted lace. And the sides feature really old (at least early 20th c. possibly older) beaded soutache. Now I am happy with the piece, so off she goes to Etsy.
The remaining collaged parts, which you can't see here, are pages from a book from the 1800s back even before newsprint was in use and things were printed using metal type. It is a demented moral tale, entitled Blue Stocking Hall, written as both a romance and a lesson to young ladies of the inevitable dangers of overeducation and too much poetry. I really didn't mind tearing it up, although it is a true period piece. Just the thing that would have caused the haunted look in this young woman's eyes. Too much poetry, feh!