In the Coursera class Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques with teacher Anna Divinsky that I took this summer I made three of the assignments (you had to make two to get a diploma). Two of those I’m rather proud of, and want to present here. The first one was about creating a piece of Fantastic Art using collage. Yes, collage – how could I resist the invitation to play with magazine images?
This is the assignment, maybe you want to try it out too:
Choose an Independent, Dada, or Surrealist artist that inspires you and utilize his style or concept as sources of inspiration to create your personal Fantastic artwork. You may use any techniques and mediums to approach this assignment such as drawing, painting and/or collage. Think about what Fantasy means to you and how you can express yourself through Fantastic Art. Have fun with this artwork while you examine your own dreams and subconscious thoughts. Challenge your ideas, pushing the limit of this assignment and experiment with various media.
I wanted to create something that would be “me” but not fit inside my normal square collage look. I started by cutting out a lot of flowers from different magazines…
Then I found a background that I liked and made a “new world” (the Land of Forever Summer!) on top of it!
Often in my art I want to the viewer to feel a sense of happiness, through specific imagery or colours that are bright and happy. To me flowers and summer brings this feeling, and I hope it shows in this collage.
This is what I wrote in my Artist Statement for the class:
In this artwork I have used magazine images and collage to create world inspired by Dali’s surrealistic works of art, and Henry Rousseau’s paintings of nature and jungles. The original magazine image show a pond with white water lilies, and to this, with the use of my beloved glue stick, I have added flowers, leafs, the lady and also a tiny dog. Can you find it?
I want to convey the magic summer holidays of my childhood, where the sun always was present and the days were long. But also I want this to be the world where grown ups (like the woman) occasionally can visit and spend a day… A magic world where even as we become “gray copies” of our younger selves we can visit in our imagination. Where small indoor plants are majestic trees that grows out of the water. I tried to show how powerful nature is when we sit and admire it, by letting some flowers “grow out of” the image and onto the white border.
I got the grade 25 for this assignment, the most you can get! Guess if I was happy? This is what my anonymous peers said about my work:
peer 1 → This piece is great. I like the use of colors, size and how the stems of some of the plants go off the work to create a sense of continuation. Well done!
peer 2 → I think you could push yourself beyond flowers, but the collage is beautifully done.
peer 3 → Beautiful collage, seamlessly integrated images. The bright colours create a wonderful atmosphere, even if it does feel a bit “noisy” in places. Excellent work.
peer 4 → I love the vividness of your artwork, and the retro feel. It does exactly as you stated, it takes me back to a time.
What is your assessment?