the business of art starts with making a piece. The process of making art in the studio by marjolyn van der Hart

The process of making of my work goes through several stages. Often people ask me where I start? I usually start with one image. I create a story using this image and add at least two other elements to the story- either a poetic phrase, a lyric or two other images. These images are not introduced to the surface until the initial collage is created.

The first step in every piece is to create the abstraction or narrative underneath the imagery. The layering of vintage wallpapers places patterns together to create a sense of space and whimsy.

At times I also use old vintage ads which are used as a basis for the piece. This initial layer is documented and a digital print on photo paper is made from this image. Once I have a large scale print of this piece, I use it as a basis for further layers of paint and collage.

After I have the initial layer of collage that is either a variety of materials, or a digital print of a collage, I layer tissue paper over this imagery.  This paper has circles and patterns cut out of it. It layers like layers of paint- creating a variety of colors. This paper is layered with gel medium and once dry the colors are rich and saturated. At this point I paint several glazes of acrylic.

After the painting has dried I use a combination of photo transfers and paint to create imagery. This ephemeral quality is used as the basis for the development of the imagery which is the final stage.

The image is discovered at this point. Sometimes some elements are eliminated and other images are introduced. Very often the initial abstraction is completely gone and the painting has taken a different direction. For a fantastic video exploring my motivation and process check out this video!

I see my process as a metaphor for memory. I create an image, eliminate the image, and recreate the initial feeling with another image. This creation and deleting is how our memories are experienced today. Every piece uses images from the past to inspire the present.

To see available original work please see my online store at