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Collage Kindergarten

When I grow up, I must want to be an artist of one sort or another. The fact that I could be considered a grown up several times over has nothing to do with it! Some areas of creativity are slow-growers in me. In the last few years, I have become enraptured with the mixed-media stuff going on in the creative world. I could happily live in a country called Stampington.  Interweave is my parallel universe.

I really really want to get in there and play with messy paints, sequin-waste stencils, markers, snippets of paper, mist bottles… and when I really want to do something I buy supplies! So here I’ve been, sitting around with lots of Those Toys and the urge to use them.

No Heart without Art

No Heart without Art, strawberryredhead, flickr.com

But I wasn’t using them. Which was odd, because I’m usually pretty fearless when it comes to trying something new, trying new things on my own, or giving something my own twist. Not this time.

So I did what I often do, and set myself to figure out why — in this case, why NOT? What was holding me back exactly, and how could I fix it?

A few weeks ago, a lot of little things suddenly fell into place. I realized it was all too overwhelming — the sheer quantity of choices! I could not choose where I wanted to start. I knew then that I needed someone to hold my hand through the beginning stages.

There are always beginning stages. If you are going to be good at something, you have to practice; those practice pieces aren’t necessarily going to be lovely “works of art.” You still have to go through that phase.  But you aren’t practicing if you just keep re-organizing the supplies, right? Well, you can, but… gets boring.

Here’s my inspiration; this quote was on a Hallmark plaque I received for HS graduation.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”      -Henry David Thoreau

I needed foundations — basic skills — for my castles: all those supplies and my dreams of putting them to use!

Still, I couldn’t decide who/where/when/how to find that someone to hold my hand and get me started. Then, one day I opened an email and there was the offer of a class. It sounded to good to be true, but it was true. After a few days went by and I still remembered this class (and still wanted to take it) I signed up. YAY! (I have a notoriously bad memory and sometimes I use that as a test for how true my reaction to something is. Hey, it works!)

This class is about composition. Composition applies to a lot of areas; this particular class is using collage.  Collage is part of what I want to do “when I grow up.” Composition is certainly a good building block for any artistic endeavor.

The hard part is, there’s no such thing as a seam ripper in collage, mixed media, and all that. You can’t back up the process when you’ve just torn that paper or sprayed that paint. I like seam rippers. I like knowing I can grab mine if I need to. I don’t need to very often anymore. That’s because I’ve done all that practicing at the sewing machine. Yeah.

Now, I may or may not be brave/naive/foolish/silly enough to show you my beginning collage works. They are, after all, my practice work. I am in collage kindergarten. Someday I might make it to collage college. Meanwhile, I will be having A LOT of creative fun!

If you wish, you can look at some not-beginner collages I have been enjoying here, and here, and scrapbookers might like this style. So much to enjoy out there in art journals, too!

It is truly great to have started, even though I haven’t stenciled with sequin waste yet.  Gotta get me some of that stuff. And use it!


(Sequin-waste stencil picture via this blog )


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