Many people say “I can’t draw a straight line” – this is a great starting point, because there are very few in nature (except the horizon). Have you tried the freedom of collage?
Watch Rebecca Maloney collage a landscape, from a few lightly pencilled guide marks, using coloured paper from magazines. And yes, she makes it wonderful because she is a skilled artist – but I bet this is not her first attempt. What would yours look like? If you can cover a whole piece of paper or canvas on board – have fun and give yourself a cheer when you complete. You have created.
More on Collage
If you’d like to experiment more with collage, you’ll find many articles and videos on that subject on this blog. Just type “collage” into the search box. Enjoy!
Lori Reed‘s vibrant striated photo collages caught my eye recently, especially this one:
Sippin’ on sunshine
Lori described it thus: This 12″ x 12″ piece features a happy bee sipping his supper. I made one filtered version of the photo in Photoshop and 3 in Prisma. I cut them into irregular shapes and combined to reform the image, and added in some handmade papers, too.”
Having buzzed around the photos on her website, I knew that I wanted to show her work to a wider audience (that’s you) – and asked permission, delightfully, she granted it. So here are a few more stunning photos, together with insights from the artist herself.
Rick and Brenda Beerhorst, husband and wife, paint and collage together, with other people looking on. And how inspiring that is.
If you’re wondering where the rich blockprints come from – they make them, themselves. I have a humorous print made by them, which I completely fell in love with. It arrived from Studio Beerhorst in an envelope clearly reused and with the address written upon it in a child’s handwriting. (They have a large family, with the kids encouraged to express themselves creatively also.)
“There’s a powerful vibe that comes off of things that are handmade and having those things in your environment where you live, I think, is really important.”
– Rick Beerhorst
In this 4 minute video, Rick muses on the experience of failure and success, as well as what a big city (New York) gives and takes away from the artist.
Studio Beerhorst prints and sculptures are available to purchase on their Etsy shop.
If you’ve ever tried making collage but it disappointed you – looked jumbled, clumsy and like a 4 year old efforts – then this brief video shows you the beginning steps to more polished work.
Collage is a great way to free up creativity when you’re feeling stuck – it brings in readymade elements so you don’t have to create everything from scratch. The materials are cheap and ready to hand.
Make something for fun – a letter for a friend, a postcard, a gift card – and before you know it, you’ll have begun making associations, connections – and you can give it to someone to maintain real life connections, friendships
If you know anyone who loves Matisse’s cutouts but says “I’m scared to make art” or “I dread old age”, show them this video. Eunice Parsons is a vibrant, working collagist in her 90s. She works with huge pieces of paper, ripping them and rearranging them carefully into new, eye-popping pictures. (Note: she made this video at age 90)
This simple exercise again begins with pasted paper base layer – in this case, patterned scrapbook paper – then builds layers of paint over it. Einat Kessler is the tutor. Like Bob Blast, it is very simple and all the materials are cheaply and easily purchasable in a craft or art store.
This collage piece works together picture and text.
It makes decisions on the process very simple – once you’ve picked the patterned paper to use as the base, you simply mix or use paints in similar colours/tones used in the base paper. Hey presto, all the colours will go together. Whether you use words or not is up to you, of course.
The demo takes 15 minutes to view, you can work alongside, so it’s a slightly longer exercise than the last one.