Cindy Mersky in front of some of her décollage pieces which are hanging at TOSH until Oct. 22. Mersky will also be teaching a two-day workshop.

Nanoose Bay artist showcasing work at TOSH in Qualicum Beach

This is Cindy Merksy's first big show with her decollage pieces

Cindy Mersky said her latest collection was the result of an exercise in impatience.

This is Mersky’s first big show with her décollage pieces. She said the exhibit at The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre, which will be hanging until Oct. 22, includes 20 pieces that she’s been working on for the past year and a half.

“I paint a lot. I like to paint, so what I did for this show, I looked at the floor plan and figured out what would fit where and I wanted to have an assortment of sizes,” Mersky said.

Mersky is an award-winning artist who now lives in Nanoose Bay after moving from Toronto in 2010. She is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. She is an internationally-recognized artist. In 2013, Mersky was awarded an artist residency in the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia and in 2014, she was awarded another artist residency in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Mersky said she started using the décollage technique when she got impatient.

“My work was still using layers of paint but the key images, there were 36 circles, evenly spaced in the work,” she said. “What I would do, rather than use paper and pull it off to expose the layers, I would paint a layer of paint and let it dry, layer of paint and let it dry.”

Mersky said she got tired of waiting for each layer to dry, so she thought if she put tissue paper on top of a wet layer of paint then she said she could paint over it immediately.

“As a consequence, as I started to move, or take things off, I realized as I was ripping through I was getting all of the layers differently,” Mersky said. “You get the effect that is similar to layers of billboards that have been ripped, or layers of wallpaper coverings that have been ripped, you can see the history of what has come before.”

Mersky said the technique of décollage gained popularity in France in the 1930s and 1940s. Décollage is the opposite of collage, where instead of an image being built up through layers, it’s created by tearing away layers.

“They literally used old movie posters and ripped them up, and you could see the various layers of the movie posters,” Mersky said.

On Oct. 12 and 13, Mersky will be teaching Non-Objective Painting Using Décollage at TOSH (122 Fern Rd., Qualicum Beach) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The two-day course is $225 for members or $235 for non-members.

The course is designed for artists of any level who are interested in learning more about non-objective abstract painting and mixed-media using paper.

“It should be fun. It’s messy, but it’s a lot of fun to do,” Mersky said. “Whether or not people decide to use décollage as the means of doing the painting itself, or if they use it as part of a technique with their own style, it’s fun to do.”

For more information, visit www.theoldschoolhouse.org.

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