Melinda Tidwell

Collage Artist

art workshops






April 17-19 fri-sun 

The Encaustic Center

Dallas, TX


April 24-26 fri-sun 

Studio Joy

Kansas City, MO


May 8-10 fri-sun 

coming soon

Prescott, AZ


July 24-26  fri-sun 

Art Makers Denver

Denver, CO


Sept 26, sat 10-4

Artisan Expo 2020

Buffalo Thunder Resort, NM

FINE ART COLLAGE with Melinda Tidwell

self study, always available


START FEB 11, 2020


Dynamic Design with Collage and Books
Fri-Sun, 10-5
$550 + tax

In this 3-day workshop, we seek to unravel the mysteries of great abstract composition using collage processes and the fascinating material of deconstructed old books. Collage is the ideal medium for exploring composition and I am loading our backpack with 3 powerful “technologies” to make your exploration fruitful.


Structures: Abstract composition is such an amorphous thing. I felt very drawn to it but very lost when I began this work, so I really began to look at visual structures that artists were using to organize the space. I needed a direction to head in and I will be offering a variety of these for you to explore in our 3 days together. Structures are illustrated with multiple variations to invite your creativity to use them strictly or loosely, as you prefer.


Design: While there are a handful of principles of design, some are more important than others—- we will start with the most powerful ones. These fundamental principles will strengthen your work and give you a foundation to build on.


Materials: If Structures and Design are the skeleton and muscles of our work, Materials is the beating heart. You will begin with a curated, pre-cut, massive pile of collage elements I have created. The Collage Elements Horde. These collage elements are culled from hundreds of paperback and hardback covers and shaped with an eye to color, texture, shape and size. Beneath this visual feast is the more subtle context of history and meaning running through these fragments of our human society. You may want to use it or not, but this extra layer of “found materials” is definitely interesting. The idea is to dazzle your eyes and mind immediately, and to create an environment where combining and rearranging is easy and fun. 

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Structures and Design will evolve each day, but Materials will be the fun part. The first day I provide them, succeeding days you learn how to make your own as we delve deep into the possibilities of The Book As Material:

Paperback covers, made from printed card stock, supply a lot of color, typography, and words to play with. They are easy to cut, tear, crease and fold, sand, and even sew. For our purposes, old is more interesting than new, but it is particularly so for hardbacks. Old hardbacks are covered completely in fabric and, if they are quite old, can be beautifully printed.  You will learn how to disassemble them, what bits to save, and the treasure of texture to be found in the dried adhesives and dangling threads.


Our end product will be a series of 9x12” book collages on paper. Each day includes an end of day critique to really look at what is working and brainstorm ways to make the work even stronger.  Each student will be provided with a presentation NOTES pdf that covers course material.


"Thank you so much for a very inspiring workshop! 

I was incredibly inspired by the setting and your studio space, as well as the content of the class. Not that I even got to try all the formats and ideas, but I have plans! 

Amazing what a week of single minded focus and few distractions did for my creativity and productivity" - Aud Le Cesne Byrne, Palo Alto

 "It was a wonderful experience exploring and creating abstract compositions. Using snippets of materials from hardcover and paperback books – titles, texts, images, diagrams, blocks of color, shapes, fabric, stitching – I’ve completed a new series of works using these wonderful found materials."  -Bonnie Binkert, Santa Fe

 " I learned more about collage from you in a week than I've learned in years! You are an incredibly talented artist and teacher - totally worth the trip from NYC (though I wish you lived closer)"

-Stephanie Ross Suskin, NYC

"If you are considering one of Melinda Tidwell’s Workshops, don’t hesitate to give yourself this wonderful treat!  Melinda provided fun materials to get us started right away and was a great guide in fostering our own creative processes along the way. She has an incredible eye for color, balance and good design, and you will find through her critique, your own discernment improves! All in all: very productive and satisfying, highly recommended." -Kathleen Taylor, Santa Fe

"Thank you so much for a great class.  I found your approach to teaching emphasized students needs and interests.  The time spent on the critique was especially valuable.  Walking through each students work and taking the time to discuss and demonstrate alternative possibilities was truly a creative process.  I learned how to approach my work with a new set of questions.  The class was also fun and at times pretty hilarious! "-Nancy Sexton, NM

"I really enjoyed the surprise and challenge of working with unfamiliar materials. Small pieces of paper that I hadn't collected for a specific reason, I had to rely on color and shape, not reference to my intention for it." -Sarah Milne, SLC