Wednesday, October 26, 2011

collage: not just art - but a way of life!

Okay, maybe "a way of life" is an exaggeration, but I don't just use collage in my art. I also do collage in my journal/personal scrapbook/sketchbook. I realized this when I went to look for a list of things I wrote down once that you can use in collage (for a future blog post -- stay tuned!) I knew it was in one of my old sketchbooks, so I pulled out this likely suspect and it dawned on me: I'm collaging all the time!

As you can see, my sketchbooks aren't just for sketching. Here are just a few of the things I've pasted/taped/or otherwise collaged into my sketchbook:
  • concert ticket stubs
  • classroom notes
  • doodles
  • "HELLO my name is" stickers
  • fortunes from multiple fortune cookies
  • cards/notes from my kids
  • movie ticket stubs
  • proofs of prints (my own and others')
  • price stickers
  • pieces of maps to places I've been
  • art exhibit postcards

And more. In fact, I generated the list above based on the first few pages alone! 

Maybe this helps me not be a hoarder (by only keeping the bits of paper instead of all of them?) Maybe it just means I'm an artistic, selective, and somewhat organized hoarder? I don't know. But I know the excitement I feel when I realize I must save something to put into my sketchbook. I also know the calming, even rejuvenating  feelings I get when I do. 

"Art is a guarantee of sanity. That is the most important thing I have said." Louise Bourgeois

I think Louise got it right. I also think that if you make collages as art, or use collage elements in your art, there has to be a place where you can just let go. Not worry if it looks right, or if you're infringing some copyright law, or if it's cut perfectly, or the right color, or whatever! It's just a collection of your life.

I also draw in my sketchbooks (of course!) And keep notes (about artsy ideas, things I've been taught, things I'd like to remember, etc.!)

What about you? Is there a place you just "let go" and collage? Or keep things that aren't necessarily worthy of a fancy scrapbook? If so, what are they? Please leave your comments, I'd love to know!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a collage treasury on etsy...

I created a beautiful collection of some of my favorite collages currently for sale on etsy today... I hope you'll go and take a look. And hopefully be inspired in your own art collage-making!

Friday, October 21, 2011

using vintage photos as a reference in your art

I almost always use some sort of photographic reference when drawing or painting. And while the following example doesn't involve collage, per se, I frequently combine drawing and painting with collage. But today's post is about the time I used this photo as inspiration for a a lithograph:

At the time, I was taking a lithography class, and I decided to draw this beauty as my very first litho, ever!

It's not the best drawing, and definitely not the best lithograph. But for my first time drawing on a stone, I have to say; it was such a pleasurable experience! Staring at this woman while drawing her gave me a sense of connection. It inspired me later to do a series of painting of my ancestors whom I never knew. I would make up these little stories about them... what they were like, what they had done the day they have their portrait taken, and what they might think of me painting them today -- in some cases nearly 130 years later.

But even if you don't have your own ancestor's photographs, you can certainly take advantage of someone else's. Use them in your mixed-media collages, paintings, book art, altered art, ACEO, and more! I have a small but precious lot of photo's for sale, including the one above here.

And by the way, on the back of her photograph is her hand-written name: "Shortie" Westbrook. As a tall woman myself, I imagine that the nickname was poking fun at the fact that she was actually quite tall. But who knows?!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Collage Art Idea!

So I just listed this extra-special pack of vintage ephemera in my Etsy store...

And I thought you might like to see a collage I made with a hand-written note very similar to some listed with this group. I actually made this a few years back...

As you can see, behind the girl's portrait I used a portion of a hand-written note. It adds another dimension to your art work; whether it is a fine-art collage, mixed-media painting, ACEO, altered art, scrap book project, book art, or other art project. 

I love using 100% original, vintage ephemera for these projects. It adds a level of uniqueness you cannot find in mass-reproduced materials. Plus you're saving one more thing from heading to a landfill!