Saturday, July 23, 2011

It looks really easy, but . . .

Creating a physical collage, which involves a hot iron, fusion material, gel medium, X-acto knives, scissors, and a lot of torn paper, is NOT as easy as one might think. Paper that should stick doesn't. Paper that you think you've placed perfectly vertical moves as you tack it down. Paper tears where you don't want it to, and doesn't tear where you think it should.

I have books about this. I've seen tutorials about this. I've watched how-to videos about this. "Oh, you just start ripping and tearing and gluing it down, don't overthink it." Well, sure, that works for THEM. Not (yet) for me. And I haven't even GOTTEN to the paint part!

But this piece? I love it. It's a photo of one part of a collage I made that's combined with another part and then tweaked in the computer. The red thing? That's a flat wooden bead. I just let part of it show, covered some of it with paper, and I think it looks terrific. The actual collage? The physical collage? Ick. Ick. And ick.

But I am not daunted. I KNOW I can be good at collage. I've got a decent eye for composition and design. I'm just too tentative with the process at the moment, assigning too much importance to every step. Thinking every piece of paper I have is way too precious to just glue and slap into place. And then when you add paint to the mix, well (gasp), what if I RUIN it?

As Frank Zappa said, "Shut up 'n' play yer guitar."
Right now I think one of my strings is missing . . . ©Carol Leigh


  1. I,too, know you can be (and actally, are) good at physical collage. I love that you are not afraid to share the journey - all of it - your highs - your lows. You totally rock. Thanks for the Zappa quote and I love your last sentence. OMG - you are so funny. Love you.

  2. No, no, no,
    No strings are missing.
    Carol, you have a talent to create beautiful things it's just a process. Do not let it to confuse you.

  3. I believe that you have a beautiful piece that speaks to your desire to learn a new talent.

    I can relate. I have read, watched and thought I was prepared while experimenting with encaustics. At times, it has been a waxy mess. At others, it goes smoothly.

  4. I have a love-hate relationship with physical collage but the rewards are there. Everything is connected. Physical-Digital.

  5. Carol D., I knew that YOU would think that last sentence was funny. You're twisted that way. And Elena, such strong and fine forces emanating from you -- thank you. And the mysterious "mcclewis," thank you for stopping by and for your comments about encaustic -- I have a box of the stuff waiting in the wings for when the time is right. I will check out your blog when I can (just got in from being out of town). And K.A., I believe we think alike (which should scare the hell out of YOU!). --Carol Leigh


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