Solis began using colored paper and images from books and magazines as a quick means to experiment with interactions between colors and textures. Making collage was part of an evolution that allowed her to break free from the rectilinear format mandated by traditional canvases and stretchers. Gradually her painting practice moved away from simply applying pigment on a support to a layered approach that incorporates gestural marks and vinyl and paper collage.
Each of Solis’s collages is site-specific. As she begins a project, the artist observes the natural, built, and cultural surroundings for details that inform the compositions. Her Mi Tierra suite of collages—some more than twelve feet wide—is a significant change in scale from Solis’s previous work, which ranged from hand-size sketches to wall reliefs about five feet wide. Her title—We were not always fallen from the mountain, the words of feminist activist Cherríe Moraga—reminds the artist of the strength of her Tejana heritage and the power that indigenous women enjoyed before the arrival of Europeans.