This is Madcollage.com. I'm glad you stopped by.
How did Madcollage come about?
I was a sickly child with a boundless imagination and lots of time on my hands. Though I loved sports, I spent most of my time indoors. I would make things with cardboard boxes, scissors, markers and glue. I created televisions, puppet theaters, pinball machines, dollhouses, and (my favorite) haunted mansions. I loved paint, messy aprons and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils. I still do.
By now I only manage to work in between pain episodes. It's frustrating not having control over my health, but I try to save all of my energy to work in the studio. It's not an exact science, but occasionally I have a good run and I work for a few days in a row. I do what I can.
In addition to the physical pain, anxiety and depression are my most faithful companions. That's how I know that the stigma surrounding mental illness is still real and pervasive: I encounter it often in many of my interactions, both in person and online. It makes me really sad, and concerned for others going through similar situations. The only antidote is transparency and honesty, and I strive to practice both.
It is my intention to take at least one brick out of that ugly wall of silence by considering mental well-being as the core issue behind all my classes. We are pushing back on the anxiety, the fear, the feelings of inadequacy, and the isolation one collage at a time. You might think it is an insignificant contribution, but I have seen what a kind word at the right time can mean for someone who is suffering. Every class is a step in the right direction. A step towards connection, clarity, confidence and self-acceptance. Won’t you join me in taking the first steps in this long and difficult journey? It's always easier together.
What else is interesting about me? I'm not sure...I am a traveler who, unintentionally became an immigrant. I love to garden. My brain is like a Vitamix on full blast. I am anxious and prone to melancholy. I absolutely love animals above all else. I enjoy movies from the 1930s and 1940s. I hate cheese, and I loathe beer. Living in Vermont is challenging as a result. The tick armageddon doesn't help either.
My work always flows from my formative years in Spain. The very name of this website is a nod to my old stomping grounds. MAD is short for Madrid, and I miss my city very much. I remember my neighborhood, my elementary school, my grandparents' home, the parks and streets that are no longer outside my door. I recreate them between the layers of paper and glue. I try to blend the old with the new, but home is, and always will be, Madrid. That city defines me and my artwork more than anything else.
So my images grow from the confluence of memory and imagination. I create them with care, slowly layering paper, paint, and transfers. Sometimes there is a straight line between thought and execution, but other times the work surprises me with a magical twist. I love the process no matter what the end result and (health permitting) I make collages daily. You won't find all of them here, but I hope you like the pieces that made the cut.
I'm a big proponent of Art Education in schools, and now I teach creativity and collage techniques online to adults and teens. Studio classes (zoomies if online) are perfect for practicing new skills and for finding inspiration. They create community. I benefit greatly from being creative and I want everyone to partake of the experience. It's very stimulating to share ideas and work in progress. I strive to make each class fun and informative. Everyone succeeds no matter their level of proficiency. Take the plunge and connect through Art. It's liberating and soothing.
Resume and Professional Activities
Born in Madrid, Spain
Lives & works in Williston, VT
Cristina Clarimon attended the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, and briefly The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education from the University of New Mexico.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries in the Southwest, Florida, Oregon, Vermont and California. She was selected to show in the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts, the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, the Arts Center in St. Petersburg (Florida) and in the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Her mixed media collages are in collections around the world in Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Scotland, Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Her pieces are deeply personal both in content and style. She employs a variety of transfer and drawing techniques, and particularly enjoys creating traditional handmade collages.
She prefers to work in a traditional way, avoiding the digitalization of the original work, while always in search of rich surfaces and unexpected effects. Her pieces are built up layer by layer with patience, skill and tolerance, to allow the image to develop on its own terms.
If all artwork is self portrait, as the great Oscar Wilde said, her collages reflect her commitment to lifting the veil on mental health issues. Despite living with several chronic conditions and daily pain, her collages are peaceful and thoughtful. They have a quiet and even pulse that allows the mind to wander, to imagine beyond what is visible. She immerses herself in her work and finds comfort in the process of making each piece. Collage is a therapeutic practice perfectly suited to mitigating her CPTSD symptoms and help make them manageable.
M. Ed. in Art Education, Graduated with distinction 2002
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
B.A. in Fine Arts/Spanish 1997
University of New Mexico
Guest Artist/Student. Art Institute of Chicago 1988
Invited Speaker for Interdisciplinary Grand Rounds
with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical
Center Arts Program. December 2020
Vermont Studio Center
Johnson, VT. August 2020.
Williston, VT 2019- present
Madcollage online Zoomies
Online creativity and collage teacher
Creative collage instructor
Hinesburg, VT 2018 - present
Stuck on You: Creative Collage instructor
Williston Parks & Recreation
Williston, VT 2017 - present
Murze Magazine - Conscious
Issue 11, April 2020
Flyway Journal of Writing and Environment Iowa State University, Spring 2020
Masters of Collage: Major Works by Leading Artists
Lark Books 2010
Woman on the Move 2005 YWCA NM
Watercolor Society Award 2007
Vermont Studio Center Residency Program, Johnson, VT. August 2020.
III Mini Print Cantabria
Faro Cabo Mayor Art Center
Santander, Cantabria, Spain. August 2020
Juried Group Show - ART IN ISOLATION, Envision Arts Online Gallery. April 2020