Paint And Paper Collage!

When I Discovered Collage?

I love paper, books, journals, sketchbooks any type of material that can be used to write or work on, it never occurred to me to use paper in my paintings. I think I was a bit of a purist, believing that if I added anything to my paintings besides paint my work wouldn’t be taken seriously. I WAS SO WRONG!  Jean Pedersen and Brian Atyeo both accomplished artists, introduced me to collage for the first time. I was a student of theirs and would watch them work and collage into their paintings. When I saw how they used paper in their paintings, it was like a door had opened and all the possibilities were on the other side.

Why I Use Collage Papers?

Wanting to explore new ways to create depth in my work I experimented with materials other than paint.  There are different pastes and gels that have texture in them, glass gel beads, fine pumice, molding paste are just a few that I’ve tried. These mediums created unique textures but they weren’t right for me, they felt so foreign, artificial, synthetic and I wanted something that felt more organic, handmade, original like my work. My first piece of art I made using collage was a breakthrough painting.  There was this freedom to explore, to react to what was happening in a more intuitive way. I use collage in most of my paintings now, it creates interest, texture, and unique marks that add more excitement to the surface.

How I Use Collage?

I paint with acrylic paint on canvas or birch panels. A thin layer of gel gloss which is an acrylic polymer is applied to the surface in a thin layer to adhere the papers to my painting.  Collaging right onto the canvas before I even apply paint is a common practice, and adding collage on top of paint just creates more interest.  After applying the gel gloss I push the paper onto the surface with a silicone spatula, I will add more gel gloss on top of the collage paper and then use the spatula or my hands to make sure that all of the bubbles and lumps of gel gloss have been smoothed and sealed. Depending on the type of paper or material that I’m using as collage I may use a heavy body gel to apply the collage. 

Here are a few examples of how I use collage.

A few of my favourite collage artists:

Robert Szot
Jackie Leishman
Veronica Cay
Brian Atyeo
Emily Filler
Karen Stamper
Jean Pederson
Nicholas Wilton

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