|One of the many
wonderful things that mail artists (also known as rubber stampers) do is
create collage cards. A collage is defined as an abstract composition made
by utilizing the textures of various commonplace substances, such as
newspapers, sand, etc., glued on a flat ground. That is a very formal way
of stating that a collage is whatever you want it to be, made with
whatever your hand lands on or can glue in some way to a piece of
The difference between a layered card and a
collage is that the collage is more free form, less bound by straight
edges and objects which are perfectly centered. Donít simply line things
up next to each other. A collage has dimension, depth, and imagination.
There are several areas to consider when making a collage card. Theme,
A collage card should have all unified
elements. If making a travel collage for example, you might want to
include sandpaper as one layer, small sea shells, rubberstamped images of
beach umbrellas, a piece of a map cut out with fancy edge scissors. Or you
might want to include a passport stamp, a suitcase, and a postage stamp.
If youíre making a birthday card, you might even glue a real candle on a
layer of mulberry paper, or stamp a cake on corrugated paper.
Artists are taught early in their schooling
that energy is shown by upward movements. On a collage, if you want to
show a high energy idea, make the focus of the card go from lower left to
upper right. You can do this by positioning a stamp at an angle. If youíre
making an Egyptian collage, for example, stamp an Egyptian Queen stamp
with her feet angled to the lower left. Add a charm in the upper right
corner, or melt a bit of sealing wax and stamp a hieroglyph in it. If you
want your card to convey motion as well as energy, put double sided sticky
foam in a square on the upper corner, fill the interior of the square with
confetti or small beads or sand. Whatever is appropriate to the theme, and
place vellum or any stiff transparent paper over the top.
The primary colors, especially yellow,
attract oneís eyes first. So you can use color very effectively in a
collage. Put something, anything, that is a primary color as the focal
point, and build your collage around that focus. If you look at a color
wheel, you will get a quick fix on which colors are going to work together
and which will not. Darker colors will help to create a somber
"feel" to a collage, and bright colors will cheer the observer
up. If you want to use dark colors and still have a cheerful card, layer
on some bright colors.
It is a good idea to keep the cool colors
such as lilac together, and the warm colors such as orange together. This
fits right in with keeping a common theme throughout the card. You wouldnít
want to put an orange stamped peach tree with a stamped image of
Stonehenge on a silver card. Or maybe you would. The most important thing
is to create something that satisfies you.
There are a lot of materials which can be
used for collages, and some of them might not have occurred to you (yet).
How about fabric swatches? Paint chip samples? Play money? Shelf liner?
Exotic thread? Quilling paper? Liquid Applique? Dried flowers? Dials or
gears from a broken watch? A photograph that you donít mind cutting up?
Buttons? Junk jewelry? Broken pieces of crayon?
As you can tell, with collages anything
goes. Well, almost anything. Remember that youíre creating a work of art
that will be around for generations to admire, and donít use anything
that will spoil, or attract insects.