Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Homage to CollAHge

Over at Art Journal Journey the theme this month is Collage.  Back in 2008 I created an entire altered book called Coll-AH-ge.  I have NO idea where the book is now, but I have many of the pages scanned.  Although the scanner was inferior to the one I have now, you can get an idea of what I created.

As I explained in 2008, this book came about because I was trying to improve my composition skills.  Ever since joining my first RR (round robin), I've struggled to make ABs where the side by side pages match.  However, my background is not in scrapbooking, so those side by side spreads don't come natural or easy to me, no matter how many I make.

Since I'm not an artist by trade, profession, or degree, for the first two years, practically everything I made was a tip-in*. I acquired what I often call "Tip-in mentality." By that, I mean my spreads are often designed back to back, not side by side. To unite the two sides, I would often use similar or same images, elements, or backgrounds on both sides, sometimes wrapping one element around both sides.

* A tip-in is a page created outside a book, then "tipped in" using one of several methods.  If you are unfamiliar with tip-ins and would like a detailed explanation of them and want to know how to place them in a book, please visit this post.  I explain everything about half way down the page.

Those who know me, know I struggle with composition. It really, really needs work. Read any book on art and you'll read that you can't get better unless you practice, practice, practice.

With those thoughts in mind, my Coll-AH-ge altered book (AB) was born. By definition, collage is flat, two dimensional. There aren't a lot of bulky embellishments, 3-D elements, and fru frus on a collage. If there were, the artwork would be called mixed media or assemblage.  Therefore, each page in my Coll-AH-ge AB was a stand alone page with few, if any, embellishments.

I did NOT, nor do I plan to enter these in the AJJ challenge.  It wouldn't be fair, since these are not new spreads.  However, I wanted to share them with a few of my AJJ friends whose collages I have been enjoying this month.

Locked :  Pigment ink,  scrapbook paper, paper scraps, magazine image.

Designed by Architects : scrapbook paper, hand painted paper, magazine images, mica powder added to silverware handles.

Cry Baby : images from various magazines, computer generated text and matching background design.

Flawed Memories : paste paper background, postcard sanded and distressed, book images, magazine image, hand painted paper, small art card, computer generated text.

The Universe : textured handmade, hand painted background paper, cardboard mats spray painted green and gold, trimmed in gold ink, words and central image from a science book.

Word : textured background paper, hand painted and stamped frame, focal image was part of a swap exchange, words are from a magazine.

Flower girl : Easter Seal stickers and magazine image.  This one took much, much longer than one would imagine.

The little naked boy :  background of spritzed color mists on a paper towel, brass stencil spritzed with color washes, then used as a mask over card stock.  When dry, laid back in place and applied texture paste in stencil holes.  Statue was fussy cut.  Non-symmetrical swirls/doodles were added.

Christmas Kitsch : adorable images fussy cut from a magazine, hearts cut from colored book pages, three tickets, shaving cream paper background.

A new year : This was my final entry in my CollAHge AB.  Handmade (by me) paper background, Dover images, computer generated text, 2009 marker die cut (not my die) from a soda can.

The Ringmaster : fussy cut magazine image, fussy cut botanical book image, ticket.

Behind the Eight Ball : Images taken from four different magazines.  Rowboat and eight ball fussy cut.  Possibly my favorite collage of all.

And finally I give you

The Collage Artist's Tool Box :  Scrapbook paper turned into a collage box, various supplies one would need to create a collage.  Just add glue and scissors.

There are lots more of these collAHges, but these were my favorites.  Thanks for looking.  I hope they make you as happy as they did me when I made them from March through the end of December in 2008. 

15 thoughtful remarks:

massofhair said...

Love your reflective post, your collages are fabulous, you are very good at them!

Flawed Memories and Locked are the two that stand out for me, so glad you shared Elizabeth:-) xxx

elle said...

Locked and Behind the Eight Ball just may cause you to lose your amateur status, Elizabeth. ;^)

Dianne said...

wow E~ these are pretty brilliant! love them all, but I think my favorite is the first one...and also Hello Kitty-I mean Cry Baby. really marvelous! I need to find the quirky magazines that you use...! ;)

froebelsternchen said...

Oh yes! I love them too Elizabeth - thank you for sharing , off to look the older post about tip ins.
Happy Wednesday!
Hugs to Mr. Bleubeard!

TwinkleToes2day said...

I cannot imagine you having any problems whatsoever with composition. To me, these are as wonderful as any I have ever seen, and the ideas of them all are fantastic. You have an amazing imagination Elizabeth and I appreciate your sharing these with us all. I'm off to have a look at your tip-in info, I've never understood what they(?) actually are. Have a wonderful day :o))

johanna said...

oh my, i could choose so many favorites here! your problem with composition must have been on pages you did not show, because these here are wonderfully designed.
this "tip in" mentality (because of fear to ruin a book) i can understand, but i´m over it... because you can also add a tip in AFTER having ruined a page (which actually seldom happens;))

Linda Gibbons said...

These are great, Elizabeth, clever and fun and full of food for thought. I think your sense of composition must be natural, because it looks organic and spontaneous.

Darla said...

I enjoyed these. Sometimes it is good to get out older work and review it. Did you find these better than you remembered? The composition seems quite good to me.


Anonymous said...

Composition, you are a master my friend. Love "word" and your first piece. xox

Jo Murray said...

Wonderful collages. It's always exciting to see your old work...often you can't imagine how you did it.

~*~Patty S said...

OK this is an example of what tough critics we are of our own work because these pieces are super E!
The first one really speaks to me as do so many others.
I have yet to do any scrapbooking either but for some reason I do always like making pages side by side or spreads as I call them. I have problems when I do one page and then want to go back and work on the other at a later date LOL
...different strokes for different folks
I do not think you can say you are not good at composition...my humble opinion!

Halle said...

Great collage. My 2 favs are the first one with the key and Behind the eight ball. Super awesome!!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Phew! Just finished the marathon catch-up and finished with this delight! A tip in certainly seem to be a good idea and seeing theses pages has certainly made me happy! Chris

NatureFootstep said...

I have a favourite :) The blue one with the key as glasses :)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I really enjoyed seeing these! You make collage, whether you want to believe it or not, look easy! I scrolled along thinking each one was really fantastic until I got to "Behind the Eight Ball" when I was truly blown away!