Exercise 2.3


As I’ve mentioned before, collage is a really challenging style of making art for me. With this exercise, I chose to work from the same limited paper selection as for the previous exercise. These papers are 12×12″ heavy stock, printed on both sides. 

I laboured for some time over the subject matter that would guide my work in this exercise. After a bit of online searching, I found some simple black and white line drawings that really motivated me to try doing this work. Below are the results. 


This is the original artwork found on the website of carissastanton.co.uk . The illustration is a continuous line drawing but I saw how it could lend to this line style of collage. I lightly drew out the basic shapes of three tiers of waves and then freehand cut the lines of each wave segment using an exacto blade and self healing mat. I was totally unsure as to how this would turn out but I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 

While there are a few funny gaps in the alignment of the rows of waves, I am really happy with the results overall. I built up each row from the bottom up, which required me to cut rows from each segment from the top down and keep each row carefully organized. To accommodate the gaps in the rows of waves, several of the rows I’d cut had to be discarded. I think this composition illustrates waves very clearly and shows movement. I was happy to find a glue pen for the assembly of this piece. 

A3 cartridge paper, double sided scrapbooking paper, adhesive. 

*note – at the beginning of this part of the exercise, I had a small glue explosion. The stickiness created a few difficulties but I think it all turned out ok. 

While deciding how to create my second piece using the same two sheets of cartridge paper taped together to create the A3 size, I looked at the scraps that were on my desk from the first piece. Rather than toss those bits of curved paper into the bin, I opted to give them a new purpose. They were to become the lines for illustrating a botanical image similar to the one shown here which originates from FotoRx on Etsy. 

Given that the paper was double sided, I knew I’d be able to use both sides to  create definition and to clearly depict shapes and outlines. I trimmed many of the strips to length but otherwise used them as they were. 

Moving on to the portion of the work that has the illustration scaled WAY down onto A4 (8.5×11″) and A5 (half a sheet of 8x5x11″ ) cartridge paper. I’m out of time tonight but look forward to resuming the work another night. I intend to work with the double sided paper on coloured cardstock. Super excited to explore those results. 

I was 100% avoiding coming back to finish this assignment because I think I forgot that I really like parts of collage and I don’t actually hate it!

For the second half of this assignment, I was tasked with scaling down the page and I goofed and worked on a much larger page instead. A2 instead of A4. I’m ok with it. I was forced to work loosely, try and use space. Also, I chose to try and create fluid lines with straight pieces of paper. This proved to be far easier on the larger scale line drawing than it was on the smaller ones. 

I used a line drawing I found on Pinterest as inspiration for this illustration. Find the original here

Once I realized my error in the size of my page, I attempted to “draw” a pair of scissors with the straight strips of green paper. I really liked how the sharp, straight edges communicated the purpose of scissors. When it came to creating curves, I tore the strips into very short bits and overlapping them, I was able to create curved lines. While the jagged nature is slightly disruptive to the overall flow of the illustration, I don’t dislike it enough to wish I’d used curved paper. I was really interested in seeing how I could create flow around rounded edges with straight pieces of paper. I think it was mostly successful. 

Likely a result of the small scale of this piece, A5, I had a very difficult time maintaining shape and scale. I was attempting to “draw” a sea urchin which is maybe identifiable after I tell you what it is. I’m not thrilled with the result of this part of the assignment and I think I can attribute it to the size of the page. However, having said that, the previous work had better prepared me for making rounded lines with straight paper so I feel like this met its goal. 

Collage is no longer my medium of choice, now that my hobby of scrapbooking is behind me. Having said that, many of the skills and certainly the tools were called into action and fortunately, my familiarity with both my skills and tools helped me accomplish what I set out to with this assignment. 

I thought I would enjoy working on the smaller scale page because I assumed it would be easier. I was dead wrong. The smallest piece was definitely the most difficult. The accidental piece on the A2 paper was probably my favourite to make and I think I like the outcome best as well (for the second half of the assignment, anyway) 

I was hoping to better fill the page with my urchin illustration and when the shell began taking shape, I was disappointed to find that it was floating within the page rather than spilling off of it which was what I had wanted to do at the outset. I’m tempted to redo it to achieve this. I definitely like working on the cartridge paper. I think because it is so high-contrast with the coloured paper and it absorbs the liquid adhesive fairly quickly. It also seems to hide any mishaps with the adhesive as well. 

Also, it is worth stating that I didn’t use a pencil or any other mark making tool to guide my cutting and gluing decisions. Everything developed organically and each piece placed determined the placement of the ones that followed. The voice of my high school art teacher was playing in a loop in my head, “Draw what you see, not what you know”. 

I won’t say I’ll never work in collage again but it’s not at the top of my list.