Reassembled Painting 1

Reassembled Painting 1, by clinock – acrylic, charcoal, pastels. On torn and glued papers.  17” x 23” (varies). Jul 2012

I have recently been revisiting this form of deconstruction / reconstruction. In the past this process was mostly a way for me to recycle two or more drawings that were so overworked or damaged that they were unable to stand on their own – happy accidents resurrected.

The idea of consciously setting out to create a reassembled painting from two or more autonomous surfaces is not a new one for me, although I have used it rarely. It was inspired by my mixed media instructor at Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Martin Guderna. Beginning with the creation of several colour fields the process is to tear one and attach it to another with white glue and water. Starting large, the fragments are glued down with an eye to composition combined with rapid intuition. The new combination of surfaces is then subjected to further tearing and gluing until the reassembled piece feels complete as an initial working surface.

The next and final stage is to work into this ‘collage’ with paint, charcoal, pastels etc to the point that it no longer resembles a collage and morphs into a painting. The inevitable breaking away from the traditional rectangle caused by the tearing process means that the outer edges gain new meaning and become an intricate part of the painting instead of a ‘fence’ or frame for it – al la Frank Stella.

Although the elements of automatism and surprise enchant and absorb me every time, I still choose not to use it as a regular working form – no series looming here, (one more only to come). Reassemblage certainly creates fascinating challenges and the emerging work is always something that I would never have conceived through a more traditional process. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has also tried this method of working…

27 thoughts on “Reassembled Painting 1

    1. Followed the link, thanks – lots of recycled material artists, all wonderful, but couldn’t find a Russian…or any work that reminded me of mine. If you remember his name let me know…


  1. I have several pieces that could be put though this process and be resurrected. There has to be a feeling of freedom allowing for even more creativity since the original work(s) don’t hold much value. Happy accidents are my favourite art form since I concentrate on monoprints, never really knowing the outcome until it has taken days to dry.


  2. Amazing assemblage Clinock. I really like this approach when applied to paintings. Well done. Great to read about the process also.


  3. I have reassembled work, but in a very fastidious and intentional way, keeping in mind old-style quilting block patterns used by women for hundreds of years. Don’t know that I was ever happy with the result, but needed to commit more to the process to see if anything satisfying would come out of it. Your work is lovely, organic and breaths.


    1. Your attempt at reassemblage sounds very interesting but quite different – nothing approaching fastidious here although much of it intentional. I love your last sentence, thank you…


  4. Don’t know if you spend any time on Facebook, great time suck but fertile field for communicating. If you do, my best friend, Suzanne Edminster, a painter, has started something with a friend of hers called the Caerus Artist Residency. It is too late to join this year (I didn’t even find out about it until after it had started since I was in France during the announcement), but I think you can visit the page if you want to see a variety of works by a variety of people. Caerus is basically a do-it-yourself residency like NaNoWriMo for writers — you decide how much time you are going to devote to painting, sculpting, etc., for a couple of weeks and you have a community of artists pursuing it. Next year I’ll advertise it on my blog.


    1. Interesting idea but I spend no time on Facebook at all – joined some time ago but couldn’t find relevance for it in my life so cancelled out. Blogging is about all I can do on-line without cutting into art time…If there’s another address let me know…


  5. Curiously, I have a reassembled artwork of mine on a cupboard just behind me. It’s also a technique I use with watercolours that I scan into Photoshop and then layer onto digital work. Yours, above, makes me want to open flaps, as though they are doors. But doors to where?


  6. Great concept, almost like recycling to me. I’m gonna have to try more collage/drawing/reconstruction type of work. thanks for the inspiration


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