Artist Spotlight: Complex Collages by Marnie Jain

Marnie Jain: Dream Houses, 2011. Magazine collage. Based in Jamaica Plain, Marnie Jain is a frequent submitter to UFG exhibitions, and if you've visited the gallery it's likely you've seen one of her stunning paper collages. Cutting apart magazine pages and re-organizing their images into complex, colorful, and remarkably fastidious creations, Marnie seeks to find interesting juxtapositions and inherent narratives. Her subjects range from abstracted natural scenes to meticulous architectural and figural compositions.

She will be giving a free Artist Talk and Demonstration on Sunday, May 26th at 1PM at UFORGE Gallery, and will also be teaching a UFG/Eliot School workshop in July. As a prelude to her free demo on Sunday she took the time to answer some questions for a UFG Spotlight.

Marnie Jain: One, 2013. Magazine collage.

1) How did you get started making collages?

"Years ago, I unsuccessfully tried a painting class, and the first assignment was actually to create a collage (which we were to then paint). I never made it to the painting part, but enjoyed the collage very much. It took off from there."

2) I love the range of colors and textures you achieve in your collages. Are there certain publications or books you like to use for your materials?

"Largely I use high gloss fashion magazines There are several reasons, but the practical ones are they have such a great range of color, and the paper holds up well. But if I fall in love with a color or texture from a flyer, I'll use that too."

Marnie Jain: Eliot Imagined, 2013. Magazine collage.

3) You've participated in several UFG shows, which one was your favorite? Has working within assignment themes had any effect on your artistic process or approach?

"Working within assignment themes is a good fit for me because it forces me away from my default subject matter. The challenge for me is to do the assignments but still be true to my own sensibilities and style. Some have been more successful than others. The Mending Room, created for the 'Stories' theme, was one of the more successful ones, and this was also my favorite show. The themed assignments have helped me shake off my list of 'shoulds' and allowed me to have a lot more fun."

Marnie Jain: The Mending Room. Magazine Collage.

4) Are there any techniques or media that you haven’t tried but would like to experiment with?

"I am trying to embrace opportunities, and doing something new or difficult is an opportunity, so I'd like to return and try painting soon. And, inspired by several local artists, I'd like to play with collage such as mixed media and maybe more three dimensional work. I also have a children's story in mind that would be hard to collage, but that makes me want to do it even more."

5) What do you do when you're not making art?

"I love living in JP and there is always something going on that can pull me out of my studio. I try to take advantage of the great music and art we have right here and surrounding neighborhoods. The Arboretum is also a regular place for me to spend time, and nature is my largest artistic inspiration."

Marnie Jain: Mother. Magazine collage.

You can see Marnie's work in person at UFG's May 2013 assignment show, "Side Show" and see a small gallery of her works at her JP Open Studios page.

And don't forget to stop by her free Artist Demo on Sunday!