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Cynthia Brody Mixed Media Art ~Lexington, MA
My Process
People often inquire about the process of combining photo collage and paint.  My art has focused on the experience of being a woman, and I most often begin by seeking out a subject.  I've always found women of the Victorian era or thereabouts to be appealing subjects.  Most of the women in my pieces are no longer living, but I enjoy the notion of giving them another life.

Here are some examples of the collage stage of several pieces before transforming them in the painting process.  The selecting and moving around of various pieces of photo change the story over and over again and is often the most time consuming part of the project. I enjoy using photos for their visual texture.  I often look at things with the thought in mind, "What else could this look like?"  A cactus could make a nice full skirt if turned upside down.  Cathedral windows make for interesting sleeves.  In more recent pieces I have photographed specifically for a piece and sometimes utilize digital software to alter the photos.  They may then be printed and, as with found imagery, glued to canvas. Then the fun and challenge of connecting them with paint and creating a larger whole that works aesthetically begins.  
Nature Girl
Buddha statue a torso and arms
Photo of fallen tree as hat top       Rock ledges being climbed as split skirt
Tree trunks as legs                      Rock as shoes
Wet rock walls as inner thigh     Salt from the Dead Sea on which she stands
Blue Trees
Photo of tree and ancient wall as hat      Mountain with waterfall as skirt
Sea birds as blouse                              Frozen leaf as sash  bow
Winding road (not shown) as base of scarf            Plowed fields as skirt and straps
Colosseum of Rome as wrap around her bottom     Church windows as bra
Waterfall over rocks as hair                                  Tibetan prayer cylinders as arm bands
                                           Many other photos in background

Falcon's Visit
Photo of an electrical lab with ceiling beam as skirt
Painted ladder to  attach to beam
Religious tapestry as bodice, headpiece and sleeves
Memories of Old Ireland
Photo of old brick tower as apron
Photo of old barred window in stone wall as bodice
Birches as skirt
She Always Felt Most Herself at the Sea
Sea Anemones as sleeves
Sea urchins as flower lei
Surf on pebble beach as skirt
Lost in the River
Created for Around the Riverbend exhibit in Cambridge. Photo images shot on site at the Charles River and surroundings in Cambridge include: rowers in the flowers(not shown in collage photo) boat house in her shoe, geese in her skirt, biker and runners in her hair, bridge as her belt.