A Collage Experience for You

June 21, 2012


I  teach an 8 week collage class – Embellish An Image: Play with Collage at the Pelham Art Center (Pelham, NY), scheduled for June 28-August 16, 2012. Each time I lead the classes, I think about how to create the best collage class experience for each person.

Some people will be new this session. Some people are returning a second time. For the new people, I need to find out what their skill level is and what they want to learn. For the people who are returning. I need to expand what we cover.

I thought about how to make the repeat (basic) projects fresh and how to introduce new projects, techniques and information.

Take My Survey

I have a survey with 38 questions about classes and workshops (see the survey nearby) I ask people to answer  yes or no to statements like: I like  classes where projects are unique every week. I like workshops that introduce experimental techniques. I like workshops that include portrait collage/landscape collage/narrative collage. I like workshops that include geometric abstraction…

The survey asks if people like to work with imported, exotic papers, if they like to work with natural materials, if they like to work with recycled and repurposed materials. Do they like workshops that focus on drawing and collage? Do they want to make collage with acrylic or water media? And more.

I get the responses and get a picture of what different people want to do.

At the first class I will ask everyone to talk about themselves and their experience with art and collage. I want to learn what they want to learn.

I want to teach the collage classes so that each person has collage success.

I’ll tell them what I planned for the classes. I’ll ask what they want to add or subtract.

A Quickie Collage Project for the 1st Class

I’ll bring papers for a quickie collage project and I’ll do a demonstration on how to glue papers. Everyone will make a collage.

The project will be based on the work of Jean Arp, a geometric collage titled Rectangles Arranged According to the Laws of Chance. See an earlier post about Arp’s collage and the laws of chance. I think chance in Arp’s collage is about the way the papers were selected (and not the way the papers were placed).

Jean Arp

Arp’s collage (above) includes papers in black, white and grey. He like to work in black and white.

I hope nobody in the class hates abstraction.

This collage project asks people to notice the way the papers are organized and the spaces within. The project is really about learning to see. It’s a good challenge. See an earlier post for more about this project.

I will propose projects for future weeks that include gluing techniques (fabric and paper collage), expressive drawing (to add a personal touch), learning to mix paints to achieve the colors you want, working with different paint brushes (we’ll create decorated papers), and pin press printmaking (printmaking without a press) to explore mixed media in collage. Each week will include a different technique and explore a range of media.

I’ll bring a variety of lead pencils to the class when we explore drawing. Basic drawing pencils are graded by the softness or hardness of their lead. The softer the lead, the darker the mark you make. The harder the lead, the lighter the mark will be.  I’ll bring pastels to add soft color. I’ll bring a variety of paint brushes so people can determine what they like.

I will write about the class projects in the coming weeks.

Please take my survey.

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