by MMCA Marketplace member Patsy Reeves
Nope.....This is not about "how to make a collage" step by step. There are a number of great books out there one can buy to help with learning the physical process. This is for everyone who has visited this site, loves collage, thinks to self....."I could do that", and you would be right! That is, of course, if you follow the one and only rule required to make a great collage. PLAY! You have to remember to play as if you are five years old, in kindergarten and it's time to draw, paste and color outside of the lines. What came naturally to us as a child gradually we lose as we conform to rules that somebody else made up!
Once you let go of thinking there are any other rules, you're good to go. A fancy studio is not a necessity. A dropcloth over the kitchen table works just fine. I suggest you begin at a time when you have several hours knowing you will not be interrupted. Turn on the music. Turn off the TV and the phone. Tell no one. If you don't tell anyone you're about to begin, then there's no "show and tell" hanging over your head. If you do something you love then it was a success. BUT.....and this is the beauty of collage, if you don't, you can recycle it. Sand it down. Tear it up. Save the good bits for another piece. And try again. I'd made some real stinkers over the years, but within each one were some great parts. Because I work most of the time directly with the papers and not on canvas, it's easy for me to rip one to shreds. I close my eyes so I'm less likely to think of it as
precious. I let the paper resist or not where it wants to be torn and shred. I keep the best bits and lose the rest.
Collage is as unique as a fingerprint, a snowflake and the person who made it. If you love it, that is all that counts. If you want to sell your work, then one must understand what pleases you may or may not please the crowd. This becomes the time when learning and applying a few basic rules of color harmony, design balance and images that speak to people become a part of the process. Looking at Mother Nature is a great place to begin. No one does it better. Always in balance and harmony, she rarely irritates or grates on the eyes and nerves. This step of moving up from creating to creating for others is also about sharing your talents. Sharing means giving the buying audience artwork that hopefully adds something positive to their environment.
If you're not sure about the colors, balance or design, there are a few simple things one can do to check your piece for balance and harmony:
1. Keep your focal point of interest off dead center. It stops the movement of the piece in it's tracks. Place everything a little to the left or right, up or down and so on. Surrounding yourself with great artists is the quickest and surest way to step up your game. But don't forget rule no.1......PLAY!!! Patsy Reeves
2. Turn your work, squint and look at it from all different directions. It should not seem too heavy in any direction, but should have balance without being symmetrical.
3. Look at your work in a mirror. You will immediately see what you were blind to before.
4. Put it away for a week and look from a fresh perspective.
Of course, some people have an intuitive sense of style, color harmony and come onto the scene with a head-start. Just get over that and forge ahead. You can be a quick-study. Never be shy about asking someone whose work you respect for their advice or critique. Pick as many brains as you can find willing. Take classes or workshops if you can.
1. Keep your focal point of interest off dead center. It stops the movement of the piece in it's tracks. Place everything a little to the left or right, up or down and so on.
Surrounding yourself with great artists is the quickest and surest way to step up your game. But don't forget rule no.1......PLAY!!!