Jan 28, 2014

Accidental Collage Texture

I usually keep my process very simple when I create collages. I basically use scissors and a glue stick. My little trick to avoid wrinkles is to place each collage between pieces of wax paper and under a stack of books for a week.

This week I tried a new technique that uses gel medium and an iron to fuse the papers together. The process is explained in detail on this website.

This is how I did it:

1. Use gloss (not matte) gel medium to coat the front of your base paper (either card stock or watercolor paper).

2. Choose glossy magazine images and coat both sides with gel medium. Allow to dry thoroughly!

3. Cut and arrange your images on your base paper. When you are happy with the arrangement cover with a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) and iron on hot. Make sure the steam is off.

4. Voila! You have a fused collage!

I am an impatient artist so I didn't let the gel medium dry thoroughly. I rushed through it and ended up with a crackled distressed look -- The ink on the magazine ironed off on to my freezer paper. Luckily I was pleased and intrigued with the results. Once I uploaded this photo Google Auto Awesome made it even more awesome by giving it the snow globe treatment. Mistakes are so darn fun sometimes!

The collage on the left also buckled because I was impatient but as often happens with "mistakes" ...  I got a good idea. I'm going to transfer this image onto silk to emphasize the watery ephemeral feeling.

Jan 21, 2014

A Picture Tells a Story

"Once upon a time there was a little boy who didn't like birds. Especially when they were flying towards his head (yes, he had seen the movie) with some crazy blond fairy hanging on for dear life. He didn't like people sticking things like a thermometer in his ... or even Q tips in his ears. So why was this fairy sticking some kind of candy cane probe in his ear? Was she trying to bring him along with her toward that abandoned spooky house he never ever wanted to go back to on Halloween?"

I was inspired by a photo of a boy in a 70s Life Magazine with a huge bubble bursting in his face. I simply replaced the bubble with something more interesting.

Jan 17, 2014

5 Minute Collages: Cathy Rigby Edition

I saw a photo of Cathy Rigby in the 1972 Olympics in Life Magazine and knew I just had to made something from this image. I saw it as a triptych. I just happen to love old Life Magazines. I respectfully save a few the rest ...  I cut them up with abandon.

My other partners in this collage are a children's craft book from the 60s and a Wired magazine from the 80s. I never use online or scanned images, I always rip the right from the books and magazines in my collection. For me its the only way to be authentic, one of a kind. I destroy them but give them new life. Kind of like zombies! I like using media from different decades in the same collage because the color palettes and graphics are so diverse.

The 70s

 meet the 80s

and the 60s. 

Jan 15, 2014

Year of the Collage!

Several years ago I signed up to get emails about Randal Plowman's Collage a Day Project. He made a collage every day, posted them online and sold them very inexpensively (starting at $25). I was impressed and thought "I could try that, but ... ".  I didn't try it.

Last year I really enjoyed following iHanna's 365 collages project on her blog. Her work has an amazing sense of color and joy! Again I thought "Yeah, I could try that but ...".

Well I bought Randal Plowman's excellent book (The Collage Workbook) and tried the 5 minute collage exercise. I loved it!

So this year I'm declaring the Year of the Collage! I starting out with 3x5 images, 5 minute collages. I want to make it really easy so the project isn't too time consuming or overwhelming.  I don't watch football, but I'm seeing an image of a newborn piece of collage and I'm carrying it down the field to the goal. While running I'm dodging and jumping the opposing team: my brain, technique, art school training and fear that I will suck. I can do this, I can do this! I just have to keep moving really, really fast. Its pretty amazing how much you can do in 5 minutes.