Sunday, March 27, 2011

Altered Book Collage, First Pages

Before I Die (left page)
Miles to Go (right page)

I lucked upon an over sized journal style book that was remaindered at Borders for just 4.99 (The Greatest Adventures of Indiana Jones).  These two pages are actually parts of the last two page spread at the end of the book.  So far the images that seem to reoccur are: flight/birds/keys/doors.  I like that the last page says "Miles to Fly" and "Doors yet to Open".  The first two pages say "Enjoy This Brief Journey".  I love the idea of an altered book/journal being a "Journey" and a "Door". 

I first gessoed all the pages and then did a wash of acrylic paint. I like the look of an old wall.  Then I added printed and clipped copies of images from books, magazines, online "news" and ad clips.  Also clips from maps and a crow stamp from and ranger ink.

The left page references and uses images from Candy Chang's "Before I die" project in New Orleans.  For this project Candy used chalk-board paint and stencils to create a place for people to write their statements about the things they want to do in life before they die. 

I teach my student to set goals in life in order to keep themselves motivated and more unstoppable, so Candy's project seems like a really positive and life changing installation.  She talks about taking a boarded up buildings and making it into an opportunity for positive personal reflection.  Every morning the chalk board is wiped clean so new people can write statements, or those that live in the neighborhood can write new statements.

I found out about this project through the Milliande Woman's Art Community at

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Packing Tape Collage

Clear packing tape, newspaper
and magazine clips, acrylic paint, dymo tape.

"Still Life with Rain"
Clear packing tape, newspaper and magazine
clips, metallic marker, pattern tape.

I just made these two small collages--and it was such great fun!  The collage layers were created with layer upon layer of packing tape with transferred images from newspapers and magazines.  I started with images of swimmers from the Sunday paper because I loved the blue of the water and the swimmers extended arms and fingers.  All you can now see is one of the swimmers faces to the right side of "Still life with Rain". 

This is such a quick and fun process--just rub down the clear packing tape on images and textures you want, then run warm water on the back and rub off the paper.  The ink will adhere to the tape and, with the newspaper images the tape will stay sticky enough to just stick it to your support surface.

The second easy technique I used was simply using the clear packing tape to tape down torn pieces of newspaper and other clips.  Kind of great to work without liquid adhesives.  I do not recommend cats on the worktable, however, as the packing tape is eager to include any flying hair in the artwork.

The "Stay" collage was the second one, and, as you can see, it is looser and more playful.  It was such fun to just lay hands on scraps of text and color and use them for either transfers or for patches of color and texture taped on with the packing tape. I just love how shiny the finished product is and how the layers of tape themselves create interest and depth.  I was working playing card/artist card size but can't wait to try this out larger--maybe with larger sticky-back sheets.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Collaborative Collage: "Pop Love" Phase One

"Pop Love" Phase One
Packing tape transfer of images from the TV guide,
Valentine week. Tim Holtz scrapbook paper plus
unidentified Michael's scrapbook paper. Glue stick.

I am very excited to begin a Collaborative Collage process with my friends Lisa Kastello (Northern Illinois Art Educator and artist) and Mel Jones Bushner Kolstad (Wisconsin artist, crafter, creative blogger and teacher). I proposed the collaborative collage after Mel gave me the inspiration with a facebook link. Bought the illustration board, but then was not sure how to start. I often have a "too many ideas" problem and sometimes get overwhelmed. Easy Girl.

I had the TV guide from the Sunday paper lying on my craft table and was intrigued by an retro artsy picture of Katy Perry. I'm not usually a "pink" person but decided to start with a packing tape transfer of the image.
For those of you who haven't tried this technique--very fast and easy. Just choose an image or text (newspaper is great) and put clear packing tape over the part you want. Soak it in water, rub off the paper. The ink adheres to the tape, creating an interesting transparent and ghostly image.

I'm mailing the 8" x 10" collage to Lisa today and can't wait to see the next developments. In our round-robin the first person starts the collage and theme, the second person adds layers and their own style and the third person finishes the collage as only they can. Then the third person starts a new collage and sends it to the next person. I like that we get to take turns creating the beginning, middle and end of each collage.