Presently Rommel is exploring collage. She uses botanical prints created by her own hand utilizing the foliage from her garden. A variety of papers serve as the foundation with acrylic paint rolled onto a Gelli mat with a brayer. Leaves and blossoms are placed on this surface then pressed onto rice, tracing, or even old homework papers. This is repeated in several layers. The outcome is always a surprise.
“Respecting the authenticity of one’s artwork is what has brought me to printing my own papers,” Rommel said. “Using another artist’s photographs or designs is verboten to me. I believe each artist has the right to distribute their own artwork as they personally and legally see fit. These Gelli print papers are so unique that I am happy to have found this calling.”
The exhibit entitled, Petals Speaking in Color at the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Center starting early April running through June of 2023 will be the launch of a year’s new portfolio. Still lives will be the focus of the exhibition; canvases averaging 16” x 20”, painted with acrylics and collaged with botanical prints. The colors are deep and varied as are the colors in nature. A hard-edged pottery vase holds an arrangement of flowers and leaves. Birds and lemons join the flowers in a depiction of a table top scene.
Another term for still life is Nature-morte which would literally translate to inanimate, dead nature. However, Rommel sees these pieces as alive and vibrant with nature’s colors. There is joy in each petal, flower, and leaf. She wants to share her perspective, “Flowers grow and keep me company. The colors in a petal are visible and deep, and they are gracious enough to share this miracle with me. My collage work speaks, listens, and draws the colors.”