What is Home? Five

As I am preparing for our move to a new house, here are more houses from my past work.

Home means something different to each person – we all have different physical locations, memories, structures for our homes – and yet I think it is one of the most important concepts there is in our society. I know that my home, not just my house, but my home, means everything to me.

As I moved away from fabric work around 2000-2001, I took up collage work, and I did a few portraits in collage. But I eventually adopted the policy of not doing any commission work – I was busy enough with my own projects and could sell whatever I made, no longer needing the portrait work to keep me going. And to be honest, commission work is nerve-wracking. I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

The best-laid plans…

I did this house in paper collage. The buyer saw me at a show when I was still accepting assignments, we discussed the project, and nothing came of it until a year or so later when they contacted me, by which time I had decided no more…but. After some negotiation I agreed to do this one more house. It was a beach house in North Carolina.

Oh, guess what. My firm resolve to do no more commission work wobbled again. I made this portrait of a townhouse on Spruce Street in Philadelphia because the buyers had bought several other pieces from me and they were so nice about how they asked…Here it is. I really think this is the last one.

I believe you have seen most if not all of the commissioned portraits I’ve made over the years. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t done a lot of other pictures with houses as the subject. Here is a small selection of portraits in collage.

All of these are real places, if not exactly adhering to color scheme or setting.

They are all somebody’s home.

Thank you for going along with me on this journey. As you might guess, it’s brought up a lot of memories for me. I will take them with me to my new home.

29 thoughts on “What is Home? Five

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, I guess these commissioned ones were never out in public since I made them for the person and it went directly to them.All the others, they were produced over so many years, I never looked at them as a group like this.

  1. Courtz’ Studio Kreations

    Wow! Am soo happy I found your blog – love your pieces, there’s soo many! I can only imagine how long these would have taken. That is great you are able to concentrate on your own projects instead of feeling stressed about commissions

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. It’s been a long time since I thought I about these portraits and I have really enjoyed remembering each one and also how I went about constructing the portraits.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    I love all of the scrumptious visual textures of these pieces. There is just so much visual interest in the collaged papers and then the way you juxtapose them to create the portraits is fabulous. I can see why commissioned portraits were popular. I am with you, however, on commissions being stressful and draining. Not that I was ever in real demand but I quit taking commissions years ago – except for one friend whose music books I illustrate – because I just didn’t enjoy the feeling of art becoming a chore. It is much more fun to just create whatever you feel inspired to make.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I really enjoyed making the papers for the collages as an activity in itself. And they gave me a lot of control over the eventual collage. As for commissions, I enjoy my work for Fictive Dream because we have come to a good understanding of the way the art and the writing work together. But other than that I only want to express my own ideas these days.

  3. Angie K Walker

    My fave – little house with glorious yellow Bush at side of it. Second fave, house portrayed sideways on with red flowers.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Interestingly enough both are houses at the shore in New Jersey. The small one was in Cape May Point. The other one was in Ocean Grove. Both of these places are known for beautiful vintage houses so I had a lot of fun wandering around and gawking and taking photos.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Your enthusiasm makes me feel good. I love houses, as you know, and as I look back I am interesting in how many of them I have portrayed and how I keep returning to the subject.

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