Play! Play!! Play!!! I can’t emphasize this enough. While there must be a marriage between your heart’s passion and your brain’s ability to reason, art must be about playing. Play with an idea… make it your own. How you see the world around you is unique to you. If you are true to yourself, your art is automatically original. Special, like you.
Once I have my materials and my canvas, I make the first mark. Brain and heart are in balance as I consider colors, composition, and patterns. I generally choose the biggest, fattest paintbrush I have to make the first bold stroke. I can always go in with other brushes but that first one has to make a statement. If you think about stained glass art, you’ll get the idea of how I approach my collages. I paint a background then build on it with large blocks of color. These blocks will end up being the outlines for my fabric and paper pieces (see some of my art in my earlier blogs). This is similar to the lead around each piece of colorful glass. I use tracing paper and good old-fashioned carbon paper to trace shapes and cut out fabric/paper. (If you want more details about this step, let me know.)
My finished work, while complicated, ends up looking a bit like an advanced coloring book with bold outlines and splashes of color, texture, and pattern. Decoupage paste or Liquitex mediums are used to adhere paper and fabric to my canvas. Play with the mediums because you get very different results with ultra matte, matte, satin, or gloss. For heavier items such as sea glass or pebbles, I use mosaic adhesive. Be careful, you’ll want the kind of glue that dry clear. I’ve made that mistake before!! I finish my pieces with Liquitex Satin varnish, usually 5 or 6 coats over a period of days. Make sure it dries thoroughly before applying the next layer. I’ve never tried to varnish over 3-D objects like stone or wire so consider your finished piece & decide the best time to protect it. I varnish before I put on 3-D objects.
Now that you know what I do… ignore my “rules” and do what feels right to you. Let go & have fun 🙂