Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why are you doing collage? What about painting?

I hope to answer questions posed by several of my viewers - family to be specific - about the reasons behind my apparent abandonment of watercolor painting. Here goes - I began my art journey 3 years ago believing that I would always be a [self-proclaimed] watercolor snob. I found out quickly that watercolor is the most challenging and unforgiving medium in the art world. Never mind... I've always liked a challenge so I dove in with characteristic belligerence to learn as much as I could.

I felt ready for a new adventure last spring when my instructor, Sharon Williams, offered a mixed media class for the first time. We began last October. I expected to be challenged weekly by new and exciting techniques in WHATEVER experimental artistic pursuits Sharon deemed fitting. Wow! I discovered a whole new world out there with absolutely no limits on creativity and, get this, the ability to change my mind late in the creative process! That was something I definitely did not have when painting strictly with watercolor. Okay, okay... yes, you can lift and wash it [almost] all away even but it's just not the same. I still love watercolor. There is really nothing quite so beautiful as a well executed watercolor painting. But, I find my artistic bent bending... towards mixed media and most recently, collage. Will I change my mind again? Probably. I do certainly expect that I will continue to enjoy watercolor painting.

I've found a few resources for those of you that are wondering what on earth could be learned about collage that we didn't cover in grade 2 [and you know who you are, lol]. In addition to learning the simple process of cutting and pasting stuff onto a support, "painting" a collage provides a way to put the principles and elements of design into practice. Somehow working in a new way can unblock and/or stir up our creativity. It's fun too. For fun stuff, check out Claudine Hellmuth's collage art here.

"Collage has universal appeal to artists because it lends itself to constant and thorough search and experimentation. New and different ways to combine textures, colors and found object elements can, more than any other art form, be innovative. The versatility and flexibility of collage offers infinite possibilities for the arrangement of elements, unusual images, and imagined meanings not associated with works on canvas or other art forms." ARTTalk

Anne Bagby does amazing collage work and you can view a slideshow of her beautiful work by clicking here.

Ann Baldwin's approach to collage is explained very briefly in this introduction to her DVD. I really like the way Ann works and, if you read my blog regularly, you'll remember reviewed this DVD February 4th.

Until next time... cheers!


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