Collage Mania! AKA Creative Cross Training

In November, right after I had surgery, I decided to take a few weeks off from quilting and to do some "Creative Cross Training."  I was tired (from surgery, from the mental fatigue of the ongoing pandemic, and from the stress of the upcoming presidential election) and uninspired.  I needed a change.  So I decided to work through Laura Kemshall's Sketchbook Challenge.   And I think the change of pace has done me a lot of good.

Did any of you read The Artist's Way?   I did, many years ago.  Author Julia Cameron talks about going on artist dates -- intentionally getting out and doing something, usually all by yourself, that feeds your creative soul and provides inspiration.  It can be a walk in the park, a trip to the cinema, a visit to a museum, a shopping expedition at a garden center, a coffee at a sidewalk cafe....anything that provides visual stimulation and that gets you out of your studio.  

In theory, play time in another artistic discipline can make you a better artist in your own.  It can jumpstart your imagination.  It can ignite a spark of whimsy.  And it is just plain fun!

I started Laura's Sketchbook challenge with a new, empty sketchbook and no stress or expectations of greatness.  I was not going to worry about creating a masterpiece.  This was supposed to be fun!  Her first suggestion was to cut into some of the pages, and to replace the cut portions with handmade paper.  I dug into my stash of Japanese papers and set to work.  The first page below is a Japanese paper made of bark.  The second is a fibrous white paper with embedded white strings.  Both papers were glued into the book and the overlap was reinforced with machine stitching:
Most pages started with a watercolor wash.  This page was painted with watercolors and then stenciled with black paint.  Stencil by Stencil Girl:
I tore the handmade paper and glued it onto the pages.  I cut shapes out of black construction paper.  I drew ghostly circles and squares:
I found an old pack of white gift bag tissue in the cupboard, drew, stamped or stenciled it, and used it as overlays on the pages.  I love the transparency:
I did a lot of mono printing:
And I can't leave them alone!  I keep adding to the pages.  More cut and torn  paper, more printing, more stenciling, more stamping, more drawing.  More more more!
It has been fun.  And they are still a work in progress.  Stay tuned for more!


Vera Holmgren said…
I love your sketchbook, it is very creative
Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a lot of fun.
Barb said…
It’s great to see the language you’re developing. Nice! Fun!
Norma Schlager said…
I really like these. I see a repeating pattern of black circles. Was that intentional? So different than you quilted work.