Creative Jumpstart: Loosen Up With Collage

Let’s step out of our comfort zones this week and really loosen up.  For me this is the hardest thing I do, and I know that it is not my strong suit.  Collage makes me think with the left side of my brain and really works against my organic and spontaneous action approach to painting. I want you to cut four small sheets of paper to work on and then organize a lot of different colored pieces of textured papers; I am using colorfast textured papers.  You can tear up old paintings, newspapers, tissue paper, wrapping paper, so don’t run out looking for the perfect archival papers.  You can do that if you love the work and want to do more.  Cut and tear the pieces into interesting shapes or forms that work for you as an artist.  I love rectangular forms so I am going to build my design around them.

Think of an abstract concept or a theme and begin to organize your shapes around the theme.  This can be loads of fun it you really spend some time with it.  Glue the pieces of paper down with acrylic gloss medium working pretty hard to keep the medium off of the front side of the decorative paper.  I then put a piece of wax paper on top of the glued paper and put a weight on top to hold it in place until it has dried.

15 x22 arches paper15 x 22 arches15×22 Arches

My theme is walking along the beach, the black is a symbol for the water and the large rectangular pieces indicate structures with an overlay of clouds and sun, basically lots of impressions of the beach.  I want you to stay really loose and very abstract.  We are still looking for ways to energize our creative selves.

light blue acrylic linelight blue acrylic line applied with a Frank Webb liner

After I finished with the three pieces of paper I found them so boring they had no movement or conflict so I added some calligraphic blue line to create a sense of the needed movement and overlap of the shapes.Acrylic Black ink dropped with a dropper from about 1 foot Acrylic Black ink dropped on surface and splattered

Even after the line though I still felt that the image needed something spontaneous and random.  I took out some black acrylic ink and dropped a few spots and splatters and I felt much happier with the results.  It gave the pieces and sense of rain and storm and basically more energy.  I am still not totally sold on the end result but it does create a fun story and is fairly creative.  Give this a go you will be happy that you did.


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