2020 Topic 9: Collage It
Hi everyone, Keren here to kick off our latest topic which is all about collage. From our earliest memories of making things, we probably did some elements of collage but hopefully we've all developed a more sophisticated style by now! In its basic form, (strictly speaking) collage is a picture created by sticking other pictures or paper (or thinner substances) together to create a new image. Its 'next of kin' is probably assemblage and it would be easy to blur the two, but there are subtle differences where assemblage tends to be more sculptural and involve more than just glue to combine the elements together. Glue is a heavy feature of collage.
I've not been super strict about sticking to the collage definition, but mostly looked for a collaged vibe.
The PaperArtsy blog has plenty of inspiration and our first example is by Pam Thorburn who has collaged hair and face so beautifully. Using the same colours makes for a harmonious piece but with some wonderful texture and check out the post for a real masterclass to this technique.
Gwen has a style that lends itself beautifully to collage. This example with some of her stamps shows the rainbow of collaged papers.
Controversially I'm beginning with a piece of digital collage. Can it be classed as collage? I'd love to know what you think! This striking piece gives a really strong collaged look. It's a piece entitled Self Identity and would be a really useful technique for a self portrait.
Collage can be a wonderful combination of images and colour, and these bright, modern versions have some wonderful details.
Collage doesn't have to be a blended affair. This piece of contrasting patterns and textures has a patch-worked feel to it.
This monochrome beauty is a stacked delight. Gluing layer upon layer of lace and fabric results in a strong dimensional piece.
Whilst researching for this topic, there was a consistent thread of humour and quirkiness. This piece appealed to me for the quirky design plus I rather love vintage Singer Sewing machines!
Collaged pieces don't need to have the whole space collaged; there's some in the background, but the main focal flowers are really delicately collaged.
Moving back towards the surreal, this is a good example of how you can use bold but simple images to provide impact. Don't be afraid of using seemingly disconnected images to tell a story.
One of the best things about collage is using the textures to add to your art. Torn edges of newspaper add texture and also highlight the layers. The added colour in this example is exquisite.
Creating landscapes using torn papers adds shadow and interest without complicated colouring. Choosing papers with different shades is the key to creating shade and highlights. Notice how the layers look so much like ripples in the water.
I don't know what glue this artist used, but many enjoy a decoupage glue or an artists acrylic medium. Some thinner papers that become translucent when medium is added create another dimension to your collages. Tissue paper is a fab option for this look.
Combining fibres and paper makes for a fascinating piece. The fibres look like they've had colour added to them. Such a beautiful landscape.
Collage can provide bolder dimension and I thought the way that the torn edges created an aperture was really pleasing. Not adding adhesive all the way to the edges is a unique effect too.
You could argue that this next example is isn't really collage but I thought that the design element was strong and was a good example of a superimposed image onto another that takes the design through each element.
I'm pushing the envelope (a collaged one of course!!) here. It's sneaking into the assemblage category really, but there are collaged elements here and I thought it was a inspirational piece to show layering.
This next piece is nudging itself into 'favourite' position. Using type and collaging text to create a piece that really looks like a nest and I adore the thickly painted eggs.
This more carefully placed collage is striking with the black bordered butterfly. Looking carefully at the piece shows so many different papers.
These are wonderfully collaged and have so many elements that your eye is drawn around each piece in a myriad of directions.
I hope you've loved this initial delve into collage. The great thing about this technique is that you can make pieces using whatever you've got already- even newspaper or junk mail.