Back in March, I took a short series of online classes called Mixed-Media Art Warmups through the Smithsonian with Marcie Wolf-Hubbard. You may remember her as the instructor for the Tiny House and Tiny Interiors classes I have taken. I really enjoy her classes, both for her instruction and for the sense of camaraderie with other Tiny House aficionados.
The idea of the class was to introduce and to work through various activities to get our creative mixed-media minds into action. The work we produced could be used for generating ideas or as the basis for a work to be added on/completed later.
Marcie gave us our prompt or theme, we quickly assembled our supplies, and we had between 8-10 minutes to work. After each one we discussed our efforts and then…on to another challenge!
It was a lot of fun. I liked the process of creating quickly and without stopping for self-judgement. Ideas flowed.
I’ll show you some of my results in a short series of posts. If I can remember the prompt (I was not good about keeping records matching art to prompt) I will mention it.
This one is a combination of two prompts – the first I have forgotten, and the second one involved layering and overlapping random pieces of paper – and then I added more details later on.
This exercise involved layering with see-through sections. I think this one looks like the guy is wearing the house. I cleaned it up a bit later on (adding the person’s hand to make it more clear) but it is essentially as I did it in class.
This image I made with leftovers from the class. It is another one in which I overlapped random pieces of paper. It’s interesting to work this way, because you start off with no plan, but as you add, you find yourself being more particular where you place things.
Looks like it was a wonderful and inspiring class
It was. It also was a brain stretcher. I felt each exercise really required extending myself. Lots of surprises.
Your collage is always so full of life. (K)
Thank you. I feel it’s the nature of collage in that the fragments add up much differently than strokes of paint, lots more movement and variety more easily attained.
I agree. The layers are obvious. And deeper somehow.
These are wonderful! I really see the appeal to this process that starts of somewhat random and chaotic and then becomes refined over time. I can see how that aligns with your methodologies when you are in creative exploration mode. As haphazard as these could have been, of course, your wealth of experience with visual textures and colour combinations means you are curating as you construct the collages even if you are not conscious of doing it. I think that skill and experience is demonstrated in how coherent the finished pieces are.
I think my favourite is the first one. Something about the layers of the background and the crispness of the figure makes me interpret it as being about a person finding a way to deal with the baggage of their past, the chaos of their life, and not allowing that tumultuousness to impact their present state of being. Could be a lot of projection in that analysis, of course, but I do like that juxtaposition between the elements of the composition.
Throughout this class I felt I was on a tightrope and one misstep could land me in a mess. Which I kind of thought was part of the point of the class. I like your interpretation of the collage, and I like how the person emerges from the chaos sort of cool and collected. I would like to be able to do this.
What a fun exercise! I miss art-making and need to get back in it again.
I think doing activities like this would be a good way to start!
The third one especially appeals to me. The unique and final effects of the various layers make it difficult to look away. Some of the papers look almost like fabric. Delicate, somewhat transparent, yet I sense and see a real strength in this piece too. Beautiful.
Thank you. The key to this exercise is not stopping to edit yourself but just to let your eye guide your hands which sounds kind of easy and it is if you get in the right flow but if not…eek. This class made me move faster than sometimes I wanted to and that was perfect for not thinking but just doing.