Collage 101

 

When it comes to making collages my mantra is re-cycle, re-purpose, re-use. If “all’s fair in love and war”, so it is with collage making. There are as many ways to make a collage (2D, 3D, mixed) as there are materials.

(Definition: Collage derives its name from the French verb coller, to glue. The work of art is made by gluing things to the surface).

I start with the scary white paper. Blank. Nada. 100% rag, acid free, often Rives BFK, a lovely, heavy paper excellent for general printmaking.

Rives BFK paper 22x30"

Rives BFK paper 22×30″ 

Sometimes I start by painting on the paper with acrylic paint or making a monotype.

acrylic painted paper

acrylic painted paper

Next comes stash busting. I peruse all manner of my previous prints (etchings, monotypes, collagraphs). The un-wanted. Un-loved. I sort through ephemera.

bits and pieces

bits and pieces

 

discarded prints

discarded prints

ephemera

ephemera

Peruse, then pick. Decide on shapes. Cut out. Add, subtract, shift around, overlap. Build layers. Do not glue down. Changes might have to be made. Do not sneeze or jostle.

Here is the collage in progress with a few details.

collage in progress

collage in progress

 

detail

detail

detail

detail

Time to glue down all of those little pieces. To help me remember where they all go once they are lifted off the paper I make a few sketches with notations plus marks on the paper for shape locations. Then I remove a section at a time, add acrylic medium for “glue” and weight it down. This is where those old phone books come in handy.

This is the view of Woodcreek Ranch from my studio window. It’s what I see while I wait for the glue to dry.

Woodcreek Ranch - winter

Woodcreek Ranch – winter

 

I return to the collage and repeat the process of removing, gluing, weighting down and staring. Until it’s finished.

Untitled #1282 collage, 22x30", 2014

Untitled #1282 collage, 22×30″, 2014

There you have it!

You can see more of my collages on my website www.studio7310.com. Click on Tabs “New Work” and “Collages.”

2 thoughts on “Collage 101

  1. Enjoyed the description of your process. Oh those old phone books! What will we do when they are no longer available? I use them for gluedowns in bookmaking and I am hoarding them jealously.

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