Montages from the 1970s

Maybe it was my introduction to mandalas in elementary school. Maybe it was the artist Peter Max or the animation in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, designed by Heinz Edelmann (I did have a Yellow Submarine lunchbox). Whatever it was, my young self dug the style and colors and psychedelic patterns of the times, which included rainbows, colorful rivers, flowers, hearts, smiley faces, and peace signs. 

I was requested to clear out my old artwork from my parents' home, and here is a series I found from 1973-76. They won't last forever: I drew them with regular marking pens on 5 x 7" index cards. Because all of them, except one, was stored in the dark, the colors are still remarkably bright.

Most likely while listening to 93KHJ-AM, then Top 40 radio (now a Spanish language news station), I started with an organic outline and then added the sections.

June 1973

February 1974

February 1974

April 1974



October 10, 1976

Looking back, I see I also would have been interested in Gond art: Indian art that employs signature patterns developed from nature (see "Personal Patterns: Gond Art and Books from India" for details). Grounding a pattern in reality deepens the connection to the viewer; a shared experience. On the other hand, my patterns were taken from the aesthetic of 1970s popular culture, which, at age eleven, was quite real to me.


Very cool and psychedelic! I remember making designs like this as a kid,myself. I think the bright colors and outlined patterns really appealed to kids.
Gina said…
Far Out--love your montages, Alisa! I spotted the ubiquitous smiley face in a few of your pieces and had to smile also. But you’re wrong about them not lasting forever; now that you scanned and shared them, they are now immortal! :-)