Monday, September 28, 2009

Using surprise elements in Collage

Far North
10 x 8 mixed media collage on watercolor paper
by Miki Willa
This collage uses handmade paper, magazine images, found "paper", paper wasp nest, image transfers and acrylic paints. I wanted to get the feeling of being near a rushing stream near the mountains during a salmon run, but also wanted snow. When I think of being on the Skagit River during the winter, I can see the mountains, feel the cold in my toes and fingers, and imagine the eagles feasting on the abundance of salmon. I used magazine images for the rocks, the rushing water on the right, and the first ridge of mountains. I liked the textures in these images. I used hand made paper for the rock overlay and the mountains on the left and in the distance. I used a part of a paper wasp nest on the right side distant mountain. It was a gift from nature left on my front stoop. When I was walking with my granddaughter, and seeing the world through her inquisitive eyes, I found the piece of pulp that had been weathered and run over many times for the mountain in the center. I did my first successful image transfer with the salmon. The trees are also an image transfer. The last thing I did was glop and spray "snow" over it all. This is that transitional snow when it has been warm enough for bit wet flakes, then starts to turn really cold and the flakes get finer. I also used some textured rice paper to enhance the snow and the rock texture. I think I like doing these landscape like collages better than the geometric ones, but I think there is a place for geometry as well.
I have a few more I have done that I will be posting later this week. Please come back and take a look.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adding Collage to this page

When It's Cherry Blossom Time
mixed media paper
by Miki Willa
I started a blog just for my collages, but decided to put them over here from now on. I seem to be doing more collage right now, when I get time in the studio.
This one was inspired by a picture from an old calendar. I went through my collection of old photos, hand made paper, scraps from the backs of boxes, decorated paper, and some stickers. I have been working with more abstract, torn shapes up to this one. I thought I would try geometric shapes for a while and see where that takes me. I am really new at this medium, so want to experiment with many styles before I decide on a direction. So far, I like the softer edges of the torn shapes. However, I do like the way the softness of the cherry blossom theme interacts with the straight lines of the geometric shapes in this one. The Saurus Cranes in the upper right are just because I like them, and I wanted to create a triangle of focal images.
I would love to learn more about the mechanics of collage. What kind of finish should I use? Is it okay to use dry mounting like a fusible webbing used with fabrics? Are there any adhesives I should stay away from? If you care to share any of these secrets with me, I would love to hear from you.