Progress on Mini Collages

As my fellow classmates keep noting, my Jane Davies Mini Collage class is indeed fun and agony. The class’s purpose is to push us to explore, to notice, to consider relationships among shapes. As Jane put it, “…we are not trying to ‘finish’ the pieces, or make them ‘better’; we are not trying to retain the compositional integrity of the original collage… we are simply adding line and pattern as contrasting kinds of elements. Adding a few more elements to each piece to SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”

Here’s Jane’s comments on one of my first batch of marked up collages.

REALLY nice work, Joanna, but in your next batch do try to do LESS. Middle left, for example: you could have just ONE group of blue dots, not two. JUST the pink line (and you have to go over it a couple of times to make it really opaque), not the green one. Bottom left is totally overstated. You have some really fun and clever marks, but too many for them to have real impact. For example, the teeny dots in the two rectangular shapes: let the dots define the left edge of the shape rather than adding a line to do that work. Do you see what I mean? Do more with less.

You can see that Jane’s comments were spot on.

My next two batches were much more restrained, and Jane’s comments were sparser – mostly consisting of “good work.”

The top two are halves of the same collage.
I call the bottom row the mummy and the election sign.

The tricky part of adding marks is to enhance, deepen, change the collage shapes; but not decorate them. It’s all too easy to add dashes or scallops around a shape’s edge, and Posca markers are addictive. After my first batch I realized that my mark making was based on quilting designs. I felt I had to cover the entire surface with a line or some sort of mark. In subsequent batches I fought that tendency. Now I’m making more minis and will mark them up once I get the matte medium off my fingers.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under In Process, Techniques

12 responses to “Progress on Mini Collages

  1. Gwyned

    So impressive how many shapes and colors you have played with. I’m enjoying taking this class vicariously through you.

  2. I would have such a hard time in this class! I would just be copying Matisse cut outs and I would never come up with anything of my own.
    I love the Mummy, and in that same group, the top right, with the big dots connected by a line and augmented by tiny dots. But my absolute favorite is the middle left on the second group — that blue line has so much energy and motion — like Nude Descending a Staircase, made out of TVs! I could look at that a long time. 🙂

    • What a great title, Nude with TVs! Don’t sell yourself short. As Jane Davies keeps pointing out, the point of it all is to increase how well you notice and observe, not to turn out great finished work. Each step of this workshop has made me really look at shapes, negative space, and ways to join/enhance them.

  3. lapaylor

    I love your snarky name. I’m going to read the other posts… I miss my art quilt group too

    • Folks who know me would tell you the name can be accurate. One aspect of my collage class I really enjoyed was the comments made by my classmates on everyone’s work. It helped make up for my monthly get togethers.

  4. gayle m coots

    I learn a lot from your posts and this series has been eye-opening. Thank you for all you share.

  5. Wow, that is such a process and so interesting. A good lesson in sometimes less is more. But honestly, I like them all. Thanks for sharing.

    • I wish I could show the work of my fellow students. Some of it so transforms the original collage with not much in the way of additions. I’ve been looking at some of my early work and can see I used too much more.

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