slightly wonky

Dreamy arty weekend…
June 26, 2011, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Collage | Tags: , , ,

So, I had an AMAZING weekend collage workshop with Alexandra Sheldon, an artist in Cambridge.  I had such a blast.  Thanks to the kindness of my DH, I was able to go.  (thankyouthankyouthankyou).  Alexandra focuses on the creation of collage material, as well as the actual making of collages.  I’m not sure what I enjoyed the most:  mixing up a color palette of bright paints…learning all sorts of crazy ways to make cool collage material…furiously working on collages…or generally yakking away about life in general.  It was such a ridiculous treat for me.  The other women in the class were fabulous.  I learned so much from everyone…each person’s work was so fantastic…and different.  We all had such a good time that we’re trying to get together again as a group!  I hope that I can go.

So, I have quite a few collages from the weekend.  Some of them happened somewhat quickly…some of them took a long time.  I couldn’t tell you how long, as I was sort of in a collage trance as I was working on them.  Here’s the first one:

 Kind of cute, right?  It always takes me ages to get “warmed up”.  If I compare this to the last collages that I made in the one other course that I took with Alexandra, I think that I already made some progress.  You can check an older post to see the previous ones.  Then, I started to work on bigger collages…it’s hard to tell here, as I shrink them down to fit the page…

That one was a real struggle for me at a certain point.  I was trying to push myself to use found materials as well, but it was making me so stuck.  Alexandra suggested that I go back to my own papers.  This helped me get though being stuck, I added the enormous orange rectangle on the collage, and felt MUCH happier with it.  After that, I pretty much didn’t get myself bogged down with trying to use found materials.  Some people in the class were very good at using found stuff…but I had a harder time with it.  I think that I did this one next:

I really like this one.  I love the colors that I made, and the crazy textures that we experiemented with were really fun.  Next:

Again, I love the color combo.  I find these so much fun to make.  I can totally get into that art-trance, and I’m happy as a clam.

That one might be my favorite.  It took quite a long time, relatively speaking.  I just like it.

We also tried to do several fast collages…just to work as intuitively as possible.  I find this really hard, as it does take me time to get warmed up.  I’m not as crazy about these ones:


These are back to the small size, as I didn’t know if I could do a big one in 15 minutes.  They were so-so.  After these two, I went back to the larger size.   Here is my attempt to keep things simple:

Well, I was trying to keep it simple, but I have a tendency not to do that well.  I did manage to stop myself before things got too clarty.  Then, I switched to a horizontal format:

I liked this, and I felt that it was taking me in a new direction.  I kept going with this direction and got this:

I was happy with these, as I felt that I had shifted into something different than before.  I’m not sure if that’s evident to you, but for me there was a change.  Then, I started getting very layered with textures and image transfers:

Image transfers are taking a printed image and using matte medium to get the picture to transfer onto another surface.  This was initially hard for me, again because I struggle with found imagery.  But, once I started layering the transfers, then I was much happier.  This was the last complete one that I did.  This next one I didn’t finish, but I’m including anyway…

It’s blah and not done, but I’d thought that I’d post everything from the weekend.

Comments?  I have the distinct feeling that the general population is not keen on collages.  I asked my DH what he thought of them, and if he wasn’t keen on them either…he admitted that he did think that they were “random”.  Sigh.  I appreciate the honesty.  Here’s my dilemma:  I like doing these, but I wonder if I’m the only one who likes them?  I know that my friend, KP, is not too keen on collages either (right???).  I asked my DH if he would like these more if they were paintings instead.  He wasn’t sure.  I have a feeling that he would!  Again, I have this sense that people can’t see beyond the fact that collages are made of pieces of paper.  Yes, I do recognize that it could really just be MY collages that are the issue.  Hmmm.

So, does anyone out there have any thoughts on collage in general?  Is it really a medium that either resonates with people, or leaves them cold?  Thoughts?


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i must fall into the non collage liking school but i wonder if i would appreciatte them more if i understood the making principles a little better. do you layer everything first or is the design worked out as you go.. is everything stuck down with glue.. is anything coloured before or after applying or do you work with what you bring on the day what sort of found objects do you use. the one that appeals to me most is the one with the pice of fabric that looks a little like net, maybe because the shape is more organic than torn paper..
sorry about all the questions but i really am intersted.

Comment by Ruth

In these collages, the majority of the papers were created by me with paint. So the paper was either completely blank, or was a scrap of newspaper. I mixed up a variety of paint colors to use, and I painted the papers. I created different colors, textures, patterns, etc. Then, after the papers are dry, I start to work on the collage. The collage is created gradually. I stick everything down with matte medium as I go. You can start with an idea in mind about what the collage is about, or you can just sift through your big pile of material, take what grabs your attention, and start composing it. It’s similar to a painting in that I did all of the painting first, and THEN I took my painted pieces and brought them together into a single composition. It’s fun…you should try it!

Comment by slightlywonky

thank you for all the info.. much more complicated than i thought and looking now at all your examples i can clearly see all the different textures you have created and the obvious brushmarks which i really like. i will have a go when arm is mended .
just one more question. what size are the majority of pieces oh, and another.. do you use acrylc paint..

Comment by Ruth

The majority of the collages are 6.5″ x 10″. Yes, acrylic paint…so many fun colors! I hope that you get well soon. Let me know how your arm is doing. It must be such a struggle to try to manage with an injured arm. Take care! Thanks for your interest!

Comment by slightlywonky

thanks elizabeth.i couldn’t wait until healed to have a go so i am madly painting paper with acrylics and i even had some matte medium and an old cavas as a suport. at least i can sit down instead of standing at an easel..if i finish this i will send you a picture so you can have a giggle.

Comment by Ruth

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