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Jessica Art Blog

Discovering Collage

by Bookwyrme , October 13, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Watch Out for Whales, addictive art, book arts, classes, fun, obsession, paste paper, photoshop

I'm now taking the second semester of the book arts class I began in the summer.

It's driving me crazy!

It's a good kind of crazy, but it's crazy all the same.

I've always been interested in art, but in the past, my crazes have been smaller and more confined.

It's only been relatively recently that I discovered that there were things I wanted to say that I could not say with words. Photography became more and more important to me, more and more of a way of communicating with the world around me.

Then I took the book arts class and discovered that I wanted more.

First there was the sheer joy of making paste paper--something I hope to learn more about, since I've barely scratched the surface.

Then there was collage.

I did very little with it last semester; both of the books I made were photography books, and I am happy with them.

This semester, however, I find myself combining my interests, mixing words, photographs, and paper into a single unit. In other words, I've discovered collage, a form many of you are familiar with but which I had not worked in since, well, I can't remember when.


I've spread the floor over with paste paper, gotten gloriously gluey, grumbled as I overcut with the exacto knife (a new tool to me, by the way), and generally been busily, happily, confusedly, maddeningly occupied.

You can see from the included images--photos, by the way, since scanning would involve removing the originals from under their weighted barriers--where both interest and frustration lie.

Interest: It's fun. I can illustrate my words! I can combine mediums. I can do this.

Frustration: I still overcut. I didn't think to measure the pages next to each other when I made them, so I don't know how well the oceans are really going to match up in the end. Glue and I do not always get along (though I just opened a new jar today and it is working much better than the older jar was). The pages are stiff and unwieldy and so I'll have to scan and print them before I can bind them. This last is not, in and of itself, an insurmountable problem, but I have yet to figure out how to photo-adjust the images once they are scanned so that they look their best and still look like they belong to one another.

Overall, I am happy with the work, glad to have the rhyme not only written but illustrated, alive in a way I could not have seen it before. But, there is always the "but"!

Adventure. Madness.




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