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Collage with Books. What is this?
 

Used books offer an amazing variety of materials for collage, from the covers, to the binding, to pages and jackets. As a used material, books have history and "experience".  

 

A book begins its life being  written, organized, designed and marketed--- passed through a number of creative hands before making it to the shelf.  The printing alone includes the layout of the book, the typefaces, the design of the cover, the colors and artwork, price, publishers branding, the marketing blurbs and quotes from reviewers. 

 

Once in the hands of the reader, they have been written in, spilled on, taped, stamped, folded, left in the sun, and made of materials that naturally decay and discolor over time. All these traces of their past are interesting and evoke the imagination of the artist.  

 

But books have another dimension, and that is their content and intention, their place in time.  Cookbooks are different than classic english literature.  Childrens textbooks are full of their growing writing skills and exuberant expressions. College science texts have writing that is much more refined and deepened, wrestling with concepts and equations. Encyclopedias that I grew up with are long gone in this age of computers.

 

Your own favorite authors, books, strings of words that mean something to you, the plain silliness of advertising copy---- all of this can inspire you in a book collage.  

 

And then perhaps the most potent thing, for me, is the collision of all of this in a single place: a recipe, an equation, a grocery list written in a pulp novel, a library card.  All of this existing within the frame of a collage hints at how big life is, and how it is going in many directions, as is its nature. It could be staggering, but after all we are only taking bits of it, which is just extremely fun.

 

 

 

 

I am offering a variety of collage workshops as an outgrowth of my fascination with vintage materials, books, and abstract composition. This journey with collage has wonderfully enhanced my life, and I want to offer what I have learned to others seeking the gifts of creativity and the making of things.

 

My approach to collage focuses on using very interesting materials (I like books) and combining them into compelling arrangements with an eye to the principles of design. To me, the materials really stimulate my right brain and intuition with just sensory pleasure. I love the cracks and textures and colors of these old, used books.  The left brain approach of design principles helps lend structure to the process which is often so amorphous.  Like all things, this is a balance. No structure and I get lost. Too much structure and the art gets lost.

Though I do focus on all the fun things you can do with books, students are welcome to use whatever materials they like. People come with all levels of experience in art.  Cut and Paste is just FUN, so we always manage a warm and enlivening environment for experimenting and learning.  

Final workshop of 2016
is now boarding
Join us!
2019
WORKSHOPS
Collage with Books. What is this?
 

Used books offer an amazing variety of materials for collage, from the covers, to the binding, to pages and jackets. As a used material, books have history and "experience".  

 

A book begins its life being  written, organized, designed and marketed--- passed through a number of creative hands before making it to the shelf.  The printing alone includes the layout of the book, the typefaces, the design of the cover, the colors and artwork, price, publishers branding, the marketing blurbs and quotes from reviewers. 

 

Once in the hands of the reader, they have been written in, spilled on, taped, stamped, folded, left in the sun, and made of materials that naturally decay and discolor over time. All these traces of their past are interesting and evoke the imagination of the artist.  

 

But books have another dimension, and that is their content and intention, their place in time.  Cookbooks are different than classic english literature.  Childrens textbooks are full of their growing writing skills and exuberant expressions. College science texts have writing that is much more refined and deepened, wrestling with concepts and equations. Encyclopedias that I grew up with are long gone in this age of computers.

 

Your own favorite authors, books, strings of words that mean something to you, the plain silliness of advertising copy---- all of this can inspire you in a book collage.  

 

And then perhaps the most potent thing, for me, is the collision of all of this in a single place: a recipe, an equation, a grocery list written in a pulp novel, a library card.  All of this existing within the frame of a collage hints at how big life is, and how it is going in many directions, as is its nature. It could be staggering, but after all we are only taking bits of it, which is just extremely fun.

 

 

 

 

WORKSHOPS

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\ABSTRACT COMPOSITION: STRUCTURES AND STRATEGIES

This workshop seeks to unravel the secrets of compelling composition. The inherent elasticity of the collage process combined with the very diverse material of discarded books and papers, give us a powerful laboratory to work in.

Each day of this three day workshop we will work with a new structure, or "strategy for arrangement".  I have found this a very helpful tool for facing the blank page. Illustrated by many examples of artists who employ them, students are welcome to follow them strictly or veer off wherever they may lead. 

After structures, we talk about design principles. Things like value, dominance, hierarchy, and harmony vs. variety.

The rest of the day is for making composition studies. The collage materials are provided (many things already cut into shapes) and I move around the room working with anyone who wants further help.

Summer of 2017 - CLASS SCHEDULE

 

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*Classes that are NOW BOARDING are open for Standy-By-Seating, which allows single-day students to register for any available seat on any leg (day) of the journey. Check the class Itinerary to the right, and register for the day of your choice. Single days are the same $110 + $10 mtls daily fee.

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