Collage is a funny thing... like wandering down a path, not quite lost, seeing glimpses through the trees, in some cases, tripping over your own feet. Then suddenly you go around a bend in the path, everything opens up and you see the whole picture.
With "Edison's Bright Light" I had bits of cut-outs laying all over the table, like little soldiers, ready to be sacrificed for a greater cause. Sometimes, you have to commit to gluing something down, then you are forced to work with it. Instead of dealing with a blank page, you have this obstacle you must find a way around, to integrate into your work.
I think people think collage is simply additive. Purely layering images, shapes, and text on top of each other. But, if you look at the table and what is left, all the soldiers still waiting to serve their purpose, you realize that collage is truly about editing.
It is just as much about the negative space (the blank page) as it is about the positive space (the cut-outs/painted surface). When you work small, it can be easier to overcrowd the limited surface space you are working with. Every inch becomes precious, and some images require a lot of breathing room, so you must be prepared to leave something on the table.
The hardest part can be leaving that last scrap of paper off, but if you are strong enough, it might just be the perfect start to your next collage!