Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Instinctive Scrap Collages

I am a scrap hoarder. Paper scraps, fabric scraps, beautiful enveloped that have arrived in the mail, gorgeous shopping bags, wrapping paper and festive ribbons are stuffed into my boxes and bins and closets. When an art project is finished, I often have beautiful scraps left over. I can't bear to throw them away, so I save them...sometimes for years. Sometimes I even buy beautiful paper, then decide it is too pretty to cut. And then I save it for years.

This weekend I had some extra time on my hands, so of course art was my top choice on how to spend my extra few hours. Instead of pulling out my paints and stamps and stencils and starting something completely new, I decided to work with the little bits and pieces I had been hoarding.

First, I made a collage in my large journal with some Tim Holtz printed tissue paper that I bought about two years ago and never used because it was just too pretty to cut.  I covered my page with it, and added an orange fabric circle flower--one of my own designs that was printed at Spoonflower, a stripe of a yellow fabric design featuring one of Gwen Lafleur's new stencils, and a pink and white stamped scrap of paper.  

I also created a quirky paper doll from scraps and decided that instead of putting it in my doll box when I was done, that I would attach it to the finished page. I had been saving a paper birdcage that was tucked into an envelope--an extra treat from a mail art exchange. Inside the cage, instead of a bird, I used a small ATC sized printout of a journal page that was created with a Jane Davenport stencil. The face of the doll was cut from a fashion magazine, and body parts are leftover paper from a mermaid project. The little legs sticking out of the bottom, as well as the butterfly, are vintage images from The Graphics Fairy.

I was on a roll using up scraps, so I turned to a smaller journal and started a collage using whatever pretty scraps I pulled out of my boxes...just whatever caught my eye at that moment in time. I used the pretty yellow and turquoise stenciled fabric design from the collage above, along with a yellow and white stenciled fabric design with a Jessica Sporn flourish design. I added a favorite Fabulous Florals yellow washi tape from Gwen Lafluer's website, some newsprint, and more of the Tim Holtz tissue paper. In the middle is a beautiful pink flower from The Graphics Fairy. Last, I added a couple strips of another of my own fabrics, a pink floral.
Next was a quick collage using newsprint that had been stamped with a Nathalie Kalbach art foamie, one of Gwen's new stencils printed in aqua on deli paper, and parts of a gorgeous envelope that I received in the mail from a Canadian member of the Paper Traders group. I filled in the gaps with more of the Tim Holtz tissue paper.
Below is another journal collage. This page has a center section of painted newsprint--a happy accident. I had covered my worktable with newsprint, and at the end of the day, liked and saved some of the abstract painted Sunday New York Times. Above and below are pieces of some beautiful les Oiseaux paper that Gwen Lafluer carries on her website. The center piece was an imperfect print of Gwen's Ornamental Petals mask; I arranged it to look like a snowflake, then added black ink at the edges to create a border. The top strip running through the snowflake print is a piece of another of Gwen's papers, a poppy.
Years ago I was experimenting with Photoshop layers and brushes and created this pastel leaf design. I stumbled on a printout of it and decided it would make a good journal background. Around the edges are assorted washi tapes. The tape with words is from Jane Davenport's collection. The pink striped paper is from some packaging, the little brown and white rectangles are printed teabags, the pink and yellow strip is a piece of my fabric (the same one that was used with the giant pink floral collage), and the turquoise half circle is part of an envelope that came in the mail from my sister. It made me happy when I saw the finished page, so I stamped the word "JOY" on the page. At the last minute, I found a washi tape word "dreamy" left over from the collage above, and stuck it on the bottom of the page.
It was fun to just instinctively create with what I found around me, and not worry about making great art, or using the latest art supplies. It was therapeutic to just go with my happy feelings--especially after a long, cold, dark winter that seemed like it would never end!


Ann Barnes said...

So much creativity-the absolute BEST way to rise above the very long winter indeed! Linda, I love these collages that you have put together. The eclectic doll is awesome, I am in love with what you have done with the bird cage! Beautiful work, even when its main intention is soothing the soul, the mark of a true artist! xx

Kate said...

I love your doll! Using scraps is a favorite of mine.

Lynda Shoup said...

As I started reading this post I had to check back and make sure you weren't talking about me! Everything you said about saving bits and pieces applies here as well.

I love the way you took those things and combined them into pieces. No one would guess you were using up stuff. Beautiful! Beautiful!

Darlene Campbell said...

Hi, love knowing you are a scrap hoarder because I'll be sending some along with my paper doll. Cheers