Posts in famous collage artists
Collage artists stepping back to step forward

All collage artists get to a point in their collage painting where they reflect and try to determine whether the path they have embarked on is one on which that they would like to continue. Famous collage artists and contemporary fine art collage artists come to this critical juncture and sometimes decide that they would like to make alterations to their collage painting. I am no different - I have come to a point in my collage painting where I decide that I need a little remediation.

I decide to take this remedial step of painting certain areas white in order to be able to later paint these areas in a way unaffected by the colors underneath.  It is like starting over from scratch in these white areas. Also, some of the paint is removed from some of the collaged papers by using rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.  A light rubbing with this solvent partially erases the color. This allows me to re-envision that collage painting.

I guess the famous collage artists that I studied under were right all along! - collage paintings have layers and layers - most of which only the fine art collage artist sees.

I complete two major things in this step.  First, I change much of the circle in the center by covering it with a yellowish green.  I also add pure yellow to a few edges. I scumble the thick rope with yellow.

Second, I paint the background areas with a very dark green.  I decide I wanted this main shape to stand out. If painting this main shape with bright colors isn’t working, perhaps those areas would stand out from an almost black background.  Sure enough, it did.

Finally more collage papers are revealed by using rubbing alcohol, in the areas where the color needs removed.

This has been a fun and unpredictable step in my newest collage paining. Enjoy!

Collage painting with colors by fine art collage artists

Fine art collage artist turns to color woes in contemporary collage painting

Many fine art collage artists use the element of color as attraction for viewer eyes. When I use color I use it for many reasons, and this is definitely one of them. That being said it can also prove to be very challenging to work with. When you’re working with different shapes, colors, and materials, deciding which attributes compliment each other requires skill and most importantly patience.

As I work through this process I add more yellow, yellow-green and a speck of white to my circle area on the collage painting.  Some greens begin to appear in various areas and I add several yellow dots under the title words.

I am searching, searching, searching for a color which will transform the entire collage painting from one of gaudy vibrancies into a more subdued color arrangement. I admit, as a fine art collage artist who has created pieces before - I am struggling because I am not sure which direction to turn or what color to try.  

Finally I add a medium turquoise wash over much of the background and over the horizontal bar extending to the left and right edges.

Famous collage artists have taught me that not all colors have to be present in the collage painting for them to be noticed. I add light and medium blues to the inner circle still maintaining the view of the title words across the top.  Much of the yellow has been covered including small dots of yellow. Also, the tone of the red-orange has been made more subtle.

It seems like every step provokes an obstacle.  Sometimes I feel like I am taking a stab in the dark.  I am apt to try anything, any color at this point.

Until next time!

Collage artist searching for colors

One of the challenges of being a contemporary collage artist is trying to find the proper colors to accentuate my new collage artwork. Color is very important. Collage art is a visual art - it beckons the viewer to explore the canvas and find new hidden treasures.

Famous fine art collage artists all use colors along with their mixed media materials to bring the viewer on a journey into their creative being. In the following steps I want to take you on a journey - on my color wheel!

Unsatisfied with the meekness of the red-orange lines, I decide to widen and add to this colored line. I add a patch of orange to the inside of the circle which is a bit to the upper right of the center circle. I also scumble on a red-orange color on top of the two thicker ropes on both sides of the painting. I am beginning to search for a color scheme which I will like. This one seems too overpowering. I want to tone it down somehow.

In this step I tone down the bright orange color by changing it to a golden yellow. I color some of the paper at upper center. I also touch the raised circles with bits of yellow paint. Some yellow is scumbled on top of the thick rope. A bright red-orange is scumbled over the applied sawdust.

This color scheme is a triad using three primary colors. These three colors are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Am not really happy with this development in my painting. It appears to be too vibrant, something which I had hoped wouldn’t happen.

I hope you enjoyed the journey on my color wheel!

All Collage artists have stories behind their paintings.

All collage artists have stories behind their paintings. From novice collage painters to famous collage artists, all who endeavor to create with multimedia materials have a ryhme or reason behind the placement of pieces and thoughts.

“Going to the Sun Highway” is titled after the famous roadway in Glacier National Park. After a recent visit to the area I was inspired by the way the sun appeared over the horizon and seemed to lead our road to infinity. The golden twine in this piece follows the road and is swallowed up by the sun which appears at the end of the highway.

As a collage artist I love to find inspirations everywhere I go. And I love to use everything (to a limit) to express these inspirations on canvas. Contemporary collage painting is a process and it all starts with an idea. Unlike conceptual paintings, my ideas are something concrete, something that I have seen and interpreted on canvas. I hope you enjoy.

Adding textures as a collage artist

Collage artists have all been in positions of having to know when to stop the base layering and begin the textured layers that will be prominent in the final collage painting.

I, contemporary collage artist, find myself at this crossroad. I start adding layers and textured items to my new collage painting. As we begin to highlight segments I try to make use of different mixed media materials in differing sections of the new collage painting. Balance in important - otherwise the eyes will be stuck in one particular section and not wander - which, afterall, is the theme of my highway series.

During this process I try to add layers and materials that increase the amount of visual and textile textures. If there’s one thing I learned from the many fine art collage artists who I have studied under, it’s this - keep things interesting!

Self-made and manufactured collage papers are attached as well as colored papers and paper dollies painted violet.  A dark blue fluid acrylic is then used to make a spiral line around the center circle shape which goes out from the picture plane at bottom right.  Some of the sawdust protrusions within the center circle shape are topped off with an orangish red color, enough to add interest but not be distracting.

Additional light turquoise paint is washed over much of the painting.  Then a dark turquoise is added to two areas on the circle’s circumference.  Red-orange and orange fluid acrylic lines now travel around the circle. This paint is added in drops which often blend together into a solid line.  The tops of the ropes are lightly brushed with orange paint. It is more visible on the dark blue pieces. I try to maintain the lettering of “No Place To Go”.

In the close-up that I have placed in this blog you can see all the fun textures created from papers and colorful paints. A close-up view shows a lot more going on here than meets the eye from a distance.

As a contemporary collage artist - I’m still having fun. I hope you have enjoyed the read. Until next time!

Placing the Collage Painting pieces together

As the collage painting begins to take shape I now have the pleasure of placing the mixed media materials onto the new canvas. Many fine art collage artists and contemporary collage artists use this period of assembly to define their edges and place the “story” of their collage painting on paper.

One of my favorite mixed media materials to work with as a contemporary collage artist is rope. Collage artists use rope to direct viewer’s eyes and to set the horizontal and vertical perspectives.

I have been looking at these huge pieces of rope which I acquired some time ago, wanting to use them in a painting.  Some of the rope is larger in diameter than a man’s thumb. It’s hard to tell what this rope might be used for. It might be used on boats and docks.  It couldn’t be for rock climbing because it is so large and heavy. Anyway, I decide to use it here. I collect samples of different rope sizes. I want to glue the pieces down next to each other in increasing rope sizes.  So this is what I have done on the left side of the painting. I begin with a very small diameter rope on the left and then continue to build up the sizes of the ropes as I moved towards the center of the painting. There are seven rows of different rope sizes here.  I also add a few rows on the right side of the painting in order to balance out the composition.

What a hard time I have glueing the ropes down to the sides of the canvas which is 2.5 inches deep.  The ropes do not bend easily at a right angle to the front surface of the painting. I end up slicing part way through the rope on the underside just where it begins to bend onto the side of the canvas.  After glueing with gloss medium and varnish, I tape down these ropes really well with artists tape. I let dry overnight before removing the tape. The result? Perfect.

Once the rope pieces are placed and dried I commence filling in the background with turquoise. The main circular shape is painted with a light turquoise, then warmed up with yellow and apricot colors.  The background is also warmed with a dark, rusty red. Black lines define the inner track running horizontally across the painting.  Finally the thinner ropes are painted a light turquoise and the larger ropes are painted a dark turquoise.

Collage art creation has sped up and now the new piece is starting to come together!

Collage artist completes the base layering

As I move onto the application of base layers on the collage painting I cross the threshold of where we see the underlying areas of canvas and enter the phase of visible collage painting.

Before I can begin this phase I have to consider the various colors I want to emphasis on the base layer. Contemporary collage artists use this base layer to set the foundation of the collage painting. Because of the importance of the base layer in collage mixed media I take this step slowly.

One of the most intense blues there is, phatholo blue (or turquoise), is applied in certain areas using a fluid acrylic. In some areas the fixative resists coverage with the fluid acrylics. I will need to add more opaque painting to these areas.

Most of the base underpainting is completed in this step. An intense black is used in the background, while the area where the title is, is kept clear of most paint colors. I am debating exactly how I want to handle this important area. I decided to leave it clear of color right now.

After this is all finished I am excited to start one of my favorite stages of collage painting - rope and fiber. Check back for updates!

Contemporary Collage Artist begins to paint

Once I have laid out the bare layers of my new mixed media collage art piece I begin the fun of layering different parts of my painting. As a contemporary collage artists, I find this part very exciting. The layering allows me to just be free and place items on the canvas that might get covered up and never revealed.

Famous collage artists like to hide pieces within their collage paintings. I always reveled at trying to identify the many pieces that were meant to be hidden. I take this one step further by scribbling saying and phrases and covering them up forever - making them a part of the painting - unseen, yet integral.

Sawdusting is usually an important early step in the progression of my collage painting.  I glue sawdust down with gloss medium and varnish. I wait until it dries before beginning the next step.  Doing this glueing down of sawdust is a difficult and hard process. The brush gets exceedingly dirty and is hard to clean afterwards.  But the great effect outweighs the nuisance and so I continue to sawdust most of my work.

Many collage artists I have spoken with have the same feeling about certain materials - the end-result outweighs the effort.

After a layer of sawdusting on my new contemporary collage painting I begin writing and scribbling all over my painting.  I use a stencil to block in, with charcoal, the words, “no place to go.”  I mark down spirals and other words which come to my mind relating to the title.  I spray all these graphics with fixative. There will be many options later on in the development of this painting.  I can choose what I want to reveal or not, after I cover these areas with paint.

I hope you enjoyed the next two steps of creating my newest contemporary collage painting. Be on the lookout next week as I begin the base underpainting.