Ghost Ranch, a collage

Ghost Ranch, a collage, by Karen KochGhost Ranch is a collage made with acrylic paint, painted papers, found papers, and printed images.

24 x 24 inches
1.5 inch deep gallery-wrapped canvas

The image started as a winter landscape. I painted the canvas a bright orange all over, then brushed in the sky and a snowy field. Bits of the orange showed through, which I really liked.

While the paint was drying, I sorted through my stash of collage stuff to put it away. When I ran across some painted papers, I thought, “Hm, these might look good with this new painting. I wonder how I could use them.”

When I held them up against the canvas, they really fit. Those papers became the mountain shapes in the middle.

At that point, it was clear that the piece needed more collage work. The landscape elements came together fairly quickly.

The image needed a focal point. Some vertical element on the right side. So I tried out various shapes until I found a figural shape that I liked. It needed something to stand on, hence the rocky outcrop.

The title, “Ghost Ranch”, is in memory of Georgia O’Keefe’s home in New Mexico. Obviously the artwork did not start out with a Southwest theme, nor did I have O’Keefe in mind as I was working on it. But once it was done it was clearly a desert scene and the title seemed fitting. I love O’Keefe’s work and have not been to Ghost Ranch, but would love to go someday.

The slideshow below shows the work in progress so you can see how it came together.

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