On October 17, 2011 the MCBA Visual Journal Collective met to experiment with collage. Sadly, the few photos I took with my pesky new camera are too blurry to be of much use to you. So instead this very short write up about the meeting will be illustrated with some prepainted backgrounds (and one meeting collage) of my own.
Attendance was huge at this meeting, proving that collage is something that appeals to and interests a wide variety of artists. Over 30 people showed up to cut and paste their way through color harmony, texture, and internal personal messages. Everyone brought a few of their own collage items. In addition we had access to the MCBA Youth Program's collage cart—which is a rolling shelf of old encyclopedias. Be still my heart!
I gave a brief introduction with suggestions for thinking about things like scale, juxtaposition, focus, etc. I demonstrated my technique for gluing.
I like to use a junk mail magazine, put the collage piece on a page, glue the piece out in a star pattern, center to edges, so that I go right over the edges onto the waste paper. I pick up my collage piece and at the same time I turn the magazine page for my next gluing piece—avoiding any contamination. I like to use UHU (purple) Gluestick.
After I position the collage piece on my journal page I cover it with wax paper, burnish it in place with a 3M burnishing card or bone folder, close my journal, and put a weight on the book (typically 3 heavy art books when I'm at home) until the glue dries.
Then everyone was turned loose to work independently. Work was shared at the end of the meeting. It ranged from simple and spare to layered and textured, from monochromatic to fluid flowing bursts of color. There was constant creative chatter and sharing going on as we spread out to take over the tables in the flexi space as well as all the bindery tables.
Left: Here is the finished collage I made on the page pictured above. Over the gouache painted background I added one of my brush pen sketches that had been made on loose paper and cut out. I also added a band of color cut from a photo of a Japanese screen (left page) and added a strip of collage paper on which I could later journal about the event. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
It is always a great experience to be in a room full of people creating in a rush of inspiration. I hope that you'll keep this in mind and join us at future meetings.
If you have a blog and wrote about this meeting (and perhaps posted photos) please send me a link and I will add them to this blog post.
The following are some pages I prepared before the collage meeting so that I could use them as suggestions and discussion points. I only used one during the meeting (starting a more involved collage page on a separate spread—it needs a drawing on top of it so you'll have to see that later). These pages later were used for photos and other journaling.
Left: Various decorative paper scraps collaged onto a page in the top two photos, then gouache painted onto pages. Photos were later placed on these backgrounds. Click on an image to view an enlargement.