The Art Of Collage By Eileen Bergen The Artful Crafter http://www.theartfulcrafter.com
Collage, from French word “coller” (to stick), is a technique that incorporates fragments of paper and collected or found objects into artistic compositions. The National Gallery of Art credits Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso with legitimizing collage as fine art. Today any material fixed to a surface may be termed collage.
As usual, guys get all credit! At risk of generalizing I think women have a genetic proclivity for collage and have been creating it since time began.
Women tend to arrange and organize, rearrange and reorganize, until they see a composition that is pleasing to eye. Women do this with home décor, their dinner tables, their closets, their makeup, their apparel, you name it.
Men, on other hand, tend to leave things where they lie, find organization in disorganization, have little concern (and may exhibit actual annoyance) if you ask them to pick up after themselves or put things back “where they belong so you can find it when you want it, Dear”.
Women’s genetic tendency to artfully arrange things explains current rage for scrapbooking which has evolved into a very advanced form of collage. Also in collage category are shadow boxes, photo collages, collaged cards, framed family history or theme collages, and of course collage art (-for-art’s sake).
1. Any collage starts with a theme or group of somehow related objects. So look around you. Get shoebox of family memorabilia out of attic. Keep your eye out for objects that appeal to you and are mountable. Just a few suggestions: beach glass, shells, small pieces of driftwood, dried flowers and leaves, jewelry parts, charms, doll house furniture and accessories, machine parts, e.g. gears from a watch or small motor, kitchen utensils, or old silverware.
You may have several groups accumulating at once; and objects may be moved at whim from one group to another. Once you have enough in any one group, lay them out on a table and arrange them. Let them talk to you. Leave them for a few days, glancing at them from time to time and moving items around until you are satisfied with arrangement. Or if you’re really inspired, you may be pleased with your first arrangement! It happens sometimes.
You may want to enhance or alter some objects for a special look. Paper can be “antiqued” by carefull singeing edges and/or washing over paper with tea. Some items can be painted or shellacked. You may want only part of a photo. Tear or cut away unwanted portion or create a pretty mat from textured paper in a coordinated color. Objects can be painted or colored: polka dots on a scrap of metal, a stained glass design painted on clear glass, a matte finish on one item that would otherwise clash with all glossy ones – or vice versa.