Collage is all about taking imagery and materials out of their original contexts, or circumstances, and putting them in new ones. At its best, collage is about recontextualizing materials, giving them new life and new meaning.
Today’s post is a book review of Jane Davies book Collage Journeys, published by Potter Craft in 2008.
Jane Davies book Collage Journeys is a great introduction to collage for anyone who is interested in trying this awesome art form for the first time, but also for those of us who already love collage. And I do! To me this is a very inspiring book because it offers many different approaches to collage.
Like with all good beginner books this one goes through the basic of gathering materials, finding the right support and ways to use daily ephemera. And after the initial chapters I find inspiration on almost every page. Jane has a great way of introducing simple ideas in a very enticing way.
Since I created the online class Layers of tissue for 21 Secrets 2010 I am a big fan of tissue paper. Jane has several ideas for tissue-paper collage, and I have already started to experiment with her suggestions, jumping at every chance to use those papers in my stash. The beautiful collage on the book cover is made in layers of tissue paper and acrylic paint. Yum!
Jane also has suggestions for working in ATC-format, binding journals with pre-collaged papers, keeping an Idea List, trying a Collage-a-Day Project, creating in a series of collages, playing with Context and metaphors, and experimenting with monochromatic colour collages! The exercises are described in a step-by-step way that is easy to follow along with, many has accompanying photos or is showing a finished example.
The reason I bought the book is because I’ve already been inspired by the authors online presence as I’ve mentioned before. So of course, I already love Jane’s artwork. And there is plenty of her collages in the book, and I am drawn to her style. I’m not equally in love with the other artists work represented throughout the book, but they serve as okay examples and suggestions for further exploration. Exception made for the fabric collages by Sharon McCartney – her bird drawings on fabric are enchanting. Love those!
I have been finding my own way to collage for several years now, but I hope to maintain my beginners mind. I think it is difficult to become stale with collage, there are always new ideas, experiments and material to play with. And as Jane says: “Often the path from blank support to finished collage takes many twists and turns.”
The next time someone asks me what how to learn more about collage I will have a good answer ready. Get Jane Davies Collage Journeys and you will have a great book that will keep you inspired for a very long time. Her collage exercises will make your creative juices flowing in no time.
* Collage Journeys: A Practical Guide to Creating Personal Artwork – read more about this book on amazon
* Adventures in Mixed Media: Collage, Stitch, Fuse, and Journal Your Way to a More Creative Life – another book by the same author, published in 2011