Collage is a fun and challenging art form, but what I like best about it is that success comes in so many different ways. There’s such an abundance of materials and possibilities that no two projects come out the same, and with mixed media creations you can paint over your layers, scrape them away or use them to create even more texture. With all this opportunity, I find collage to be one of the best learning opportunities available.
Collage is a great way to experiment with composition and design. Arranging your shapes on your surface forces you to make important decisions about contrast and variety and geometry that have a crucial influence on the outcome of the picture. Sometimes pieces have to be overlapped, as well, which is a fundamental way of creating space.
If you’re interested in abstracting realistic forms, collage presents a terrific opportunity in its many shapes and relationships. Representational forms can be made more intriguing by torn edges and the addition of paint or surprising objects. If you have a theme you want to express through your art, the flexibility of the collage form is hard to beat. And finally, collage lets you take advantage of the world of color and texture available in our abundance of printed material and consumer products by not limiting you to the colors and textures created with paint alone. That’s the kind of versatility that makes collage so rewarding for your artistic growth.
Jane M. Mason is an award-winning artist and art teacher who specializes in watercolor. “Painting for me is like canoeing on an endless river. It?s always enthralling and at times I?m in control. But, before you know it, the painting takes me for the ride of my life,” says Mason. “Every day brings new challenges, enlightenment and rewards.” She can be contacted at JMM2Paint@aol.com; her Web site is www.watchingpaintdry.com.