Besides taking photos of the places they travel, most people collect something along the way as a souvenir of a trip or vacation. Perhaps you picked up a seashell at the beach, a feather in the mountains, or maybe you saved a ticket to a special event such as a concert or ball game.
We can display natural items like the seashell or feather, but putting the ticket out for others to see does not make much of an impact. If you combine many keepsakes from a trip or special occasion, however, you can make a collage to remind you of the fun you had and the places you visited.
Using bits and pieces from everyday life as conventional art materials is not new, but it took artists such as Pablo Picasso to make collage recognizable as fine art. They included scraps of paper, cloth, wood, metal, and sand in their paintings in the early 1900's. Now, here's your chance to be a collage artist and save lots of paper and other items from eventually going to the landfill.
You will need:
- Souvenirs of your trip
- Illustration or mat board
- Pencil and eraser
- White glue or acrylic matte medium
- Brush and small pan or container
Begin by gathering together all the "bits and pieces" of your vacation. This may include items which feature photos, drawings, or lettering such as post cards, soda straw wrappers, empty sugar packets, napkins, brochures, maps, tickets, programs, and sacks. For contrast, you may want to include an unusual item such as a small piece of driftwood or other three-dimensional object.
Now, spread all your souvenirs in front of you at your work area. There are several ways to arrange the materials you have collected. One method is to place the objects next to each other in a way that looks pleasing to you. Try to arrange the souvenirs so the colors look balanced and the printed materials are evenly distributed. If necessary, cut away unwanted areas. When you are pleased with the picture, glue it d own.
Another way is to think about the place you visited, and try to remember if there were any landmarks that made the site special. Perhaps the silhouette of a famous mountain, building, or monument comes to mind. Maybe the shape of the state, province, or country will do. Draw this shape first, and then arrange and glue the souvenirs inside the outline. If you use glue on your picture, it may be necessary to thin it slightly with water before brushing it onto materials. Matte medium may be used directly from the bottle.
Tips and Tricks:
You can make collages with any theme. Create one to celebrate a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday. Look for magazine pictures of your favorite sport or sports hero. Cut them out and glue to a support such as construction paper or mat board. Finally, collages may be non-representational. They don't have a theme or subject, but we can enjoy them just for their colors, shapes, and textures. To make this type, select scrap materials you like, cut and arrange the pieces so they look interesting, and glue them down.
If you wish to frame your finished collage, have the illustration or mat board cut to a standard size such as 11"x14" or 16"x20". Picture frames in these sizes are easy to find, and they are less expensive than custom-made frames.
© 1996-2010 Marilyn J. Brackney Volume 2 No. 4 (updated 2018)
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