Sunday, January 20, 2013


I have a friend who I see only occasionally, but she is such a smart and interesting person that I look forward to those rare get togethers. She is not an artist, but works in technology, so I was a little surprised the last time I saw her to learn that she has become very excited about collage making. She had brought along photos of many of the small collages she has been making, assuring me that this was not art, but something else. I think this is the program that she is involved in, so I suppose it is something like art therapy. All a little woo-woo for me, but what I could see in my friend was the thrill of creating had seized her with these little collages. This is something I totally understand and really hope that everyone experiences in some realm of their lives.

So—collage. I have been thinking about collage since I saw her collages. Today I cut up some card stock, in neutral colors, into 5" x 7" cards. Then I pulled pages out of several magazines and catalogs and along with scissors and a glue stick, I now have a little collage supply bin. I plan to make two or three collages a week. These are exercises, just for me. I think collage is a great exercise in composition, and along with vowing to draw more, I hope these disciplines will improve my eye and hand and influence all I do in a positive way.

So, I made two today. Here they are.

Collage #1

The elements of this are all cut from magazine pages. Posted here it is hard to tell if those are real buttons or real metal. They are not real. They are photos from magazines. I cut that little guitar out of a separate photo and leaned it against the wall here. I kind of love the surreal quality of that.

Collage #2

There is a real "free association" thing going on with these. Neither were planned. I just started with one piece, added another and then another and...  Knowing when to quit could be problematic. I was going to add a lot more to the second one, but I got that far and liked it. Minimal. Hmmm. There's a lesson already.


  1. I took a collage class from a quilt artist. We selected colors for one page and made something out of all the values of just one color. Then repetition of one image. Had to go thru quite a few magazines to find the same image. usually an advertisement. And on and on. I loved making them. Still do. I have an entire rolling cart of drawers with sorted images. The ones I like best are from the classified ads (usually the legal notices) cut and applied to a shape. Like a filled doodle.

    The first one resembles your building designs. Only more abstract. Perhaps you could use the shapes and cut out stripe patterns?

  2. I have a good friend who is a Soul Collage leader, and I've learned some about it from her. It seems to me to be a way of blending art and therapeutic self-reflection in a way that doesn't seem threatening to non-artists as well as people who are not inclined to therapy. I get the impression that it's something you can approach from whatever level you want -- reading deep meaning into it, or not, as you choose.

    I think it's fun that you're playing with little collages and I look forward to seeing what you do. I love doing small collages! I think they are very fun, good art practice, and they can be revealing about where you are at a given moment, as much art-making can.

  3. I love that little guitar too. Such a whimsical surprise! I could learn the minimal lesson too. Weekly collages sound like a great exercise to me.

  4. hmm, You say Minimalist? What a concept, maybe I should try it. I'll just pretend Im working in Photoshop layers and when one layer is done start another one, right?. Oh- that's then a series! Then I can scan all the collages and put them on top of each other back in Photoshop, right? So I'll have all my little minimalist collages and the final piece is the combine--- which of course I will print on fabric so I can cut it up and resew it back together.

    Seriously, be careful because all the little collages sap your juices if you want to be doing other things. There is a 'sweet spot' where you must leave it and go to your (ahem) real art while still 'in the zone'. But collages are great to get over a block or try out new concepts. Love yours! Guess I should go through my drawers full of clipped images looking for things like wee guitars.