Monday, May 18, 2009


The ArT of Collage

I'm a big supporter of the art-making process of collage. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary defines "collage" as work of art in which various materials are arranged and glued to a backing. I would like to add, that found objects such as shells, , fabrics, photographs, tree bark, string, yarn and different textured papers can be included in a collage. You can mix mediums and use them to draw or paint onto the collage, for instance including paint, colored pencils and markers. I use collage with clients because it takes the pressure of having to draw or paint away from the art-making process. What else I enjoy about working with collage is that whatever issue a person is working on or trying to understand in their life, collage offers a nonintimidating method to explore thoughts and feelings. Magazine cut-outs provide a variety of images that can be used to represent thoughts and feelings. For instance, lets say an individual wanted a deeper understanding of his or her relationship with their sister. I might suggest that they choose images that reflect what he or she likes about their sister and images that represent what they do not like. I usually recommend that they choose between 8 and 10 images so that they are not using the entire session to go through the many picture cut-outs. Once the pictures are glued down, I will ask clients to talk about the process and share any thoughts or feelings they have about the images they chose. Together we explore the art.

Try it for yourself:
Exercise: Introduce yourself with images. Instead of introducing yourself with words, you will do it with images.

Begin collecting magazine picture cut-outs such as people, animals, places, buildings, plants, sayings, words, things, etc. Keep them in a box.

You'll need: glue, scissors, large plain paper or cardboard.

This can be a work in process. Start by choosing images that you feel define who you are, where you are in your life and other aspects of yourself you would like to share.
Glue images to the paper/board in away you wish. Overlapping if you choose.
Continue until you feel your collage is complete. Reflect on the process and if you wish, you may write a short story or poem about the collage/process.

Title your collage.