Dreaming a Story – Torn-Paper Collage

It started with the word “Dreaming,” a mixed teal rectangle, an aerial view of a New England town, and a woman’s pensive expression… mostly her eyes. This was my first collage (of three) today.

Next, I found the words “A Story” and then “worth telling, worth finding.”

I feel as if each has an important story – and probably many of them – worth telling. And, in old journals and blog posts, many of more stories are worth finding.

They’re the patchwork of our lives, in a way.

In this collage, I worked with color and some imagery, such as the sailboat. In a way, it reminded me of the boats that take us to Neverland, in Disney’s Peter Pan attraction. But it’s also a reference to lazy sailing days, as well as yacht races and salt spray, with the wind in your sails.

At the lower left, it seemed important to keep the church visible. Spiritual anchors are important in life, and a church can be so very… well, inspiring, calming, and insightful.

To balance the collage, I drew some gold lines with a metallic marker.

And yes, I did reposition some of the images, so you may see a few lichen-like lines, here and there.

Materials: torn magazine pages, Yes paste, Sunshilor metallic gold marker, on 9″ x 12″ acid-free lightweight card stock.


Some related articles you may enjoy:

Torn-Paper Collages – How-to video (a 2010 video – some info outdated)

Adding Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

 

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When We’re Ready – Torn Paper Collage

Color, unity, and contrast… those were the elements that attracted me as I created this torn-paper collage. It was my second collage of the day.

Shades of blue – especially leaning towards teal – have always been my color “comfort zone.” And, as someone with auburn hair, I’ve always liked the contrast. Blue and orange/brown, opposite on the color wheel, can bring out the best of each other.

I chose a simple, almost minimalist composition. Many of my collages are far more complex.

The figure represents strength, even as she stands alone and in toe shoes (ballet).

I feel as if she’s poised, surveying what’s in front of her, preparing for her next powerful step forward. It’s that time that many of us experience. Not quite hibernation or as subdued as we may appear, but simply regrouping, internally.

Then – when we’re ready – we emerge. At that point, it’s our game.

And that’s her story in this collage.

Materials: torn magazine pages and Yes paste on 9″ x 12″ acid-free lightweight card stock.

Some related articles you may enjoy:

Torn-Paper Collages – How-to video (a 2010 video – some info outdated)

Adding Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

Share and Enjoy !

We Are / Enough – Torn Paper Collage

When I saw the magazine photo of the woman walking away, and she was in a fairly empty landscape, it spoke to me about the role of women… and gender issues, in general. The sometimes-solitude of labels and compartmentalization, whether it’s by appearance, gender, age, race, accent, or whatever.

From there, I built out this collage with images that are somber and restrained. They reflect the tidy, muted ideals some aspired to in past generations: There. Decorative. Perhaps useful. Seen-but-not-heard.

I added a brighter, more colorful sky that keeps her moving forward. Things are improving, if just a little at a time.

The text images can be viewed two ways. That’s deliberate.

It could be “We Are Enough.”

Or, it could be “We Are,” and, as an afterthought, “Enough.” (As in: we shouldn’t have to be, do, or say any more than “we are.”)

This was my third collage of the day, and it may be the most cryptic of the three… even to me.

Materials: Torn magazine images and Yes paste on 9″ x 12″ acid-free card stock.


Some related articles you may enjoy:

Torn-Paper Collages – How-to video (a 2010 video – some info outdated)

Adding Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

Share and Enjoy !

She’s Back – Torn Paper Collage

Sometimes, plans go awry. This collage… Well, it was intended as an 8″ x 10″ work, so the support I started with was 8.5″ x 11″.

But, as I kept working, it grew.

The collage elements include images leftover from yesterday’s piece (Resilient collage), especially the balcony photo at the far left of this piece. I like that nod to elegance and tradition.

The woman at the top of the art is Sharon Stone. Her comment about roles for women – that they’re aren’t any between ages 40 and 60 – resonated with me. Ageism continues to thrive, as do labels, especially for women. That 40-to-60 age can be especially troublesome.

(I see the recent raves about how great/young Selma Hayek looks in a swimsuit, at age 53, and wonder, “Yes, she looks great, but are we defining ‘beauty’ as ‘looks like she’s 30’? and why is her age part of the headline? Why not say ‘Selma Hayek Has Style’ and leave it at that?”)

So, the “you’re READY” phrase and “She’s back” are about rebellion against compartmentalization – by age, race, gender, and so on.

The elevator buttons reference rising up.

The image of the woman at the lower left is deliberately torn, as all of us try to navigate a challenging time. Right now (January 2021), I think so many people are confused and somewhat overwhelmed, compartmentalizing is even easier. It’s a way to put people into categories instead of finding time to understand them as individuals.

What’s resulting is a fractured society, defined by labels that can separate us.

And then there’s how the collage spilled off the lower edge of the support. In a way, that’s part of the artistic message, as well. It was unintended, but… well, many of us are “playing it by ear” right now. If the results aren’t tidy, at least they’re authentic.

Materials: torn images from magazines, Yes paste, and a poster board support.

This photo shows my worktable, with cotton swabs for applying small bits of adhesive, my Speedball brayer for smoothing each piece as its applied, the collage (on a kitchen cutting board I like for collage work), and my reading glasses for seeing details.


 

Some related articles you may enjoy:

Torn-Paper Collages – How-to video (a 2010 video – some info outdated)

Adding Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

Share and Enjoy !

Resilient – Torn Paper Collage

As I was creating this collage, the word “resilient” seemed to leap off the page. It’s definitely the theme for this, though I won’t pretend I understand the significance of everything in this mixed media piece. (I work intuitively. If a collage element seems to make visual sense, I use it.)

At the moment, we’re in our sixth week of interrupted sleep. We live in an apartment, and – overhead – our new neighbors are waking us most nights. We’re still trying to resolve this with the property managers, but my optimism is starting to fade. Moving may be our only option.

So, that’s where the word “perseverance” comes in. (The word is deliberately broken. Because that’s how it can feel when you persist… but you persevere, anyway.)

For others facing challenges right now, this collage may have its own meaning.

Whatever you’re hoping will improve in this new year (2021), I hope that the words resilient and perseverance resonate with you.

You’re not alone. We’ll all get through this, together.

Resilient is approximately 8″ x 10″ on poster board. Materials: torn magazine pages, Yes paste, and lines drawn with a gold metallic marker.

 

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