Category Archives: Collage/Mixed Media

Tiny Houses 10, 11, and 12

Here are more Tiny Houses made while I was taking another session of Build a Tiny House at the Smithsonian in July, 2022.

The three are the smallest houses I have yet made. And they are done a little differently. Let me tell you how.

All my previous houses have been based on a cardboard box form with surface decoration added. I kind of did my own thing, following what came easiest to me. During the class, however, our instructor Marcie Wolf-Hubbard used a method that involved covering the house with papier mâché. At the time of the first class I took, my eyesight was impaired and I didn’t have the patience to take in the information. And, it didn’t really matter, as the idea was to work with your own skills as you liked.

In this class, though, I wanted to try the method. So, I started small. I used cardboard boxes of the type teabags come in (think Yogi Ginger tea, for instance). I took off the lid and used it to create a floor, resulting in a simple two-story interior.

Here are the houses I made, and then I’ll tell you more about how I created them. Here is a view of their interiors.

And here are the houses from the back.

Here are views of Tiny House 10:

Here are views of Tiny House 11:

And here is Tiny House 12.

In constructing these houses, it’s first necessary to put together the structure. It needs to be sturdy enough to take the wet paper mâché, but it doesn’t have to look great. When I make houses in my other style, I have to make sure that tape and other construction items can be integrated into the decoration techniques. In these houses I am discussing here, all these things will be covered up.

Next step is to get the materials together for the papier mâché. I used newspaper and magazines, and my glue was something I first tried out in making paste papers (look here for a post where I discuss this process), Elmer’s Art Paste.

Our instructor uses the traditional flour and water paste, but I had a quantity of this art paste already made up, and I thought I’d try it. I was pleased with the results and intend to continue using it in the future.

Well, all you do then is dip your paper into the paste and apply it to the house. You can lay it on flat or you can crumple and squish it to build up wrinkles or relief area. The house does become quite wet, and I needed to be careful to support it at time or let it dry a bit (that is where working on more than one house at a time helps out, I could skip around).

I covered every surface, finding that the wet gluey paper slid on very easily and could be maneuvered around corners and into crannies as needed. Once I was finished, I let the houses dry for about three days. They were significantly stronger than the cardboard boxes that they’d started out as and were ready for paint.

I painted directly on to the surface but many people gesso first, to even out the surface and reduce show-through of the papers.

I also could have applied decorative or painted papers to my house in the papier mâché process and skipped or reduced the painting part, if I had papers I felt would do the job.

OK! That’s where we are. I really enjoyed using this technique and I am full of ideas of ways to use it. Thank you to our teacher Marcie Wolf-Hubbard and to my classmates for a great experience.

Tiny House 9

Yes, another tiny house! I took another session of Build a Tiny House at the Smithsonian in July, 2022. Here is one of the houses I made.

It is larger than any other Tiny House I have made at about 15″. This is because I used a larger cardboard box as my base for the house. I can see that having more room to work with of course gives me more scope for architectural details and for decoration. And it makes me wonder about making even bigger, more elaborate ones…

I covered the box with black gesso and then used acrylic paints, markers, and collage for the surface decoration. Here are front and back views:

As you can see, it even has some stairs! (Not that they go anywhere, I just liked the idea of having stairs and I wanted to try out the techniques).

Here are more exterior views:

Here are some details from the exterior:

And details of the interior.

There you have it. Tiny House 9! Thank you to our instructor, Marcie Wolf-Hubbard, and classmates for a lot of fun.

Wordless Storybook Pages 11 and 12

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

2003 Calendar – September

Here’s a project I did in 2001-2002 that I had forgotten about. Now, here in 2022-2023, I will take a trip down memory lane and show it to you, once each month.

Why this schedule? Because it is a calendar. For 2003.

I made three of these – one for my son, one for my parents, and one for my husband. It’s the last one that I am showing to you. They were all alike except for the covers.

I hoped this calendar could be a small record of a certain time in our family. I do not know if my son still has his version, and my parents now are dead and their things scattered and gone, but here is the one we still have at our house, a voice speaking up again from the past.

If you want to know more about this calendar, look here.

Here is the collage image I used for the month of September, 2003. It’s called “September Vegetables” and was 11″ x 14″. I did the picture from vegetables we had on hand; I posed them in our kitchen. I think, but am not sure, that we grew the tomatoes.

Here is the page in the calendar.

Happy September!

As to the notes, for #1 and #3, my son was still in school at the time, so school things were on my mind. For #4, the fall was my busiest season for art shows and we were usually participating in one every weekend through October. Weather was always a worry and it paid to have a lot of clothes to choose from if things changed during the day. For #5, buckeyes, also known as horse chestnuts, were a childhood tradition for me. They were considered good luck and my grandfather always collected some and gave them to me so I could carry it with me and rub it for luck if I needed it. For #7, I hate shopping and crowds so I always did my Christmas shopping very early. For #8, we grew this flower in our yard and at this time of year each blossom was covered with bees.

Wordless Storybook Pages 9 and 10

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

Wordless Storybook Pages 7 and 8

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

Wordless Storybook Pages 5 and 6

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

Tiny House 8

You’ve seen the Tiny House I made for my friend Diane (Tiny House 6) and the one I made for her grandson (Tiny House 7). Now, here is Tiny House 8, made for Diane’s sister Lynne.

Lynne and I live many miles apart (think Pennsylvania and South Dakota) and we have never met in person. But…we both share an interest in dollhouses, something we found out when Diane invited her to the Zoom “reception” my Tiny House Class had online back in the winter. We began a correspondence based on our mutual interests and things went on from there.

So, I made her a house and sent it to her, as a surprise. Diane had showed her the one I made for her when Lynne made a visit east, and told me she liked it. It seemed natural to create one for her, so I did, and sent it as a surprise.

It arrived at Lynne’s house and coincidentally Lynne called Diane to tell her that the Tiny House had arrived as Diane and I were talking on a Zoom chat. We all marveled at how this circle had expanded to include us all.

All right. Let’s see the Tiny House 8. Here is the front.

Here is the interior/back.

Here’s a view of the back yard:

Here are some side and exterior views.

Here is another view of the interior:

Here are some other details:

So, that’s Tiny House 8. And a village made for friends has been created!

Wordless Storybook Pages 3 and 4

In 2021 I completed a wordless artist book for my little granddaughter, who was about a year old at the time. I produced it by converting a discarded kid’s library book, using the same process I’ve used for similar books in the past.

Look here if you want to see more about how I make these books and to view one of my past books.

This particular volume does have a story, though. I had been working on it off and on for a long time and getting nowhere. Other projects kept coming along. One day I took it out to see about finishing it up and to consider what I might write to accompany the images. It struck me that it was fine just as it was, without words.

And I thought my granddaughter might like it when she is a little older, and she can make up stories to go with the pictures herself.

Like the content, the cover has no words. The book has no title. I guess it can be called whatever the reader wants.

Here are the next two pages. Want to make up your own story?

*********

2003 Calendar – August

Here’s a project I did in 2001-2002 that I had forgotten about. Now, here in 2022, I will take a trip down memory lane and show it to you, once each month.

Why this schedule? Because it is a calendar. For 2003.

I made three of these – one for my son, one for my parents, and one for my husband. It’s the last one that I am showing to you. They were all alike except for the covers.

I hoped this calendar could be a small record of a certain time in our family. I do not know if my son still has his version, and my parents now are dead and their things scattered and gone, but here is the one we still have at our house, a voice speaking up again from the past.

If you want to know more about this calendar, look here.

Here is the collage image I used for the month of August, 2003. It’s called “August Summer Song” and was 7″ x 5″ as seen here. However, originally the piece was larger (11″ x 14″). I had not made many abstract collages back then and I never got satisfied with this one. And, it never got much attention in my booth, never mind close to selling. Remember, for me back then, selling my art was the ultimate purpose for its making.

So, for the calendar it appeared in its original form but some time later, I cut it down to this size and sold it right away. Now I’m not sure I would have altered it, but…what is done is what is done.

Here is the page in the calendar.

Happy August!

As to the notes, 1. Fred Sherman was one of our cats, who had died a couple of years earlier. 3. I had just begun to try other mediums, as you can see here where I mention acrylic paints and oil pastels. 4. School supplies – at this time my son was in high school and back then, the students still used pencils… 6. I am not religious but I like the idea there was a St. Claudia (though she didn’t seem to have much of a story). 10. I guess if I am eating tomato sandwiches my tomato plants must have grown well and prospered.