Kanchan Mahon is a self-taught artist using the medium of hand-cut paper collage.

Her art is quixotic, vibrant and otherworldly. Images are combined with intricate pattern, rich texture.

The qualities and concepts embodied by butterflies, flowers and birds infuse these pieces with the rich symbolism of the natural world. These women dream of flight, like the birds they see, They long for change and to transform themselves, as do moths and butterflies. There is a flowering of self.

In these couplings of myth and psyche, her art celebrates the loveliness and liveliness of women. She calls these images of vivid color and intricate detailed patterns “Dream Images.”

To learn more about Kanchan or to purchase a piece of her work, visit her website at


…. and now for our exclusive interview with Kanchan Mahon

How would you describe your art?
Surreal rich, lush with a dense patterning or bright, saturated bold bright hues. My art incorporates natural symbols, such as butterflies, moths, birds and flowers to suggest a tale. I try not to tell stories, only suggest them.

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?
Well, aren’t we all artists at birth? I began making collages in 2007.

What is your favorite medium and why?
I love collage. I can use paintings and drawings as sources, but I am freer using collage. There is complete freedom in collage. If I want to try different things, I can incorporate it into the collage. I can try out different pieces and compositions before gluing down anything. It’s very forgiving. Mistakes are sometimes genius!

Pick one work of art from your portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

“The Mother” was perhaps my third collage, two-foot square, but one of the few concept pieces I’ve made. It was one of the only one whose meaning was set from the start. It is an image of a pregnant woman, with her gown full of people. I had such fun making it, from trying to find teeny little people, to the two weeks that it took to finish the background.


The Mother

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.
I would love to try assemblage, working in another dimension appeals to me. I suppose that I haven’t tried it before because all of the tricks I have to give pieces depth would be useless.

How do you make time for art?
I make sure to only work 32 hours per week. This keeps me centered, and not overstressed. I find time to collage after work and on weekends.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?
A perfect day for me would be to wake up facing the rising sun from my window and feel coastal breezes through the room. I’d swim, do yoga on the beach, read and collage. All day long I’d hear the music from my husband’s guitar. I would have all my materials handy and no phone to bother me. On a really perfect day, my papers will have magically cut themselves up, so all I’d have to do is compose and glue.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?
I would spend the day with Alfons Mucha the Art Nouveau Master. He has the ability to paint gorgeous realistic portraits but chose to paint his portraits in pure line and color. We could talk about symbolism and allegory and I would watch him put his magical swirls all over his gorgeous images.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
Try collage, you’ll have the ability to express yourself without worrying about the technical aspects of painting and drawing. Most importantly trust a few people to give you critique. Then take everyone else’s opinion of your art as if it were a gift from a passing stranger. If you like it enjoy it. But if you did not like it, simply throw it away. Don’t let people’s opinion of your art stop you from making it.