Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Collage experiment

Back after a wonderful, be it somewhat rainy, 10 day vacation. Part of it was spent on my own island and part of it was spent on a neighbouring island called Schiermonnikoog. I took lots of pictures and of course I wrote in my self made journal that I showed you last time. I also bought postcards and cut them up to use in the pages or just to add to the journal as a whole. I have not added the photographs to the journal yet, so I am not going to show it to you yet either. It may take some time to really finish that project and there is just so much to do! I may show you some of the photographs I took in one of my future posts.

For now I want to show you a project I started before I went on vacation and that I finished yesterday. I love artsy books as you may know and I am really into books on collage right now. A lot of them are nice, but the one I am reading right now is really inspiring. It's called 'Collage Journeys' and written by Jane Davies. What I like about her book is that it's not a step by step description of different collages (I think I am passed those kinds of books, although I like the work in them I don't really want to recreate somebody elses work) but she talks about the elements that make up a collage, the techniques you can use and also how you can incorporate your personal style and thoughts/feelings and find inspiration for your original work.

Inspired by this book I thought I'd try a little collage experiment. I printed out a vintage photograph of a girl I found on the internet three times. My intention was to make three completely different collages with the same photograph by using different techniques and colors. It turned out to be a very interesting experience! All collages measure 20x20 cm (8x8 inches). For some reason the repetition of three times the same girl as a focus made me think of that song "Three times a lady", so that became the theme and title of the collages. All the collage's contain the words "Once twice three times a lady" like the song lyrics go and each one has a different number on them, 1or 2 or 3.

So here's the first one:

For this one I covered the photograph with gesso and drew it back in with colored pencil. Usually when I use this draw or paint over technique I will use my neocolor crayons, but I wanted to practice working with colored pencils a little more anyway since I have so little experience with them.  I used different decorative papers, acrylic paints and a mechanical pencil in the background and chose pastel colors in pink and blue.

The second collage looks like this:

For this one I tried out an image transfer technique on acrylic gel medium. It's kind of comparable to the technique where you use packing tape, but instead of packing tape you put four to five layers of medium over a picture. Then you let it dry overnight and wet the paper and rub it off until only the ink remains on the medium. After that you get a transparent picture that you can glue to your background. I liked the result, but I think the original picture was just a little too vague to make a very clear transfer. It gives this collage a dreamy atmosphere, but it also meant I really had to tone down all the other elements in the collage or you simply would not have seen the girl at all.

The third and final collage looks like this:

I think this one is a complete opposite of the second one. Again I used a draw over technique, but this time I used felt tip pens and markers straight on the picture without first applying gesso. The result is so bright and colorful that of course the background had to match that. I like the vibrant nature of this collage.

What I loved about this project is how you can take a picture, alter it and create completely different atmospheres. I also liked experimenting with techniques I hadn't tried before. I learned a lot making these. Fun!