Introduction of the course
Welcome to the course ‘Collage Making Through Free Expression and Intuitive Composition.’
My name is Simone Nijboer; I’m a Dutch artist and a big advocate of establishing a daily painting practice. I try to paint every Monday through Friday, and what I love about daily painting is that you really get into the flow of painting, instead of staying in a cycle of starting and stopping again.
The second thing that is so fantastic about daily painting is that you start to care less about the final paintings that you make. Because you are making so many paintings, you don’t get so attached to the results. If you make something that you don’t like, you don’t worry, because tomorrow there is another day. Daily Painting enables you to start focusing on the process, instead of on the product, which is so much more fun, and you learn so much more along the way.
Daily painting costs time, though. You have to prepare your studio, get out your painting supplies, clean up afterward, and take care of your brushes. If you don’t have tons of spare time every day, you might not even start.
Here is where collage making comes in. I have found it to be a fantastic counterpart to more time-consuming types of painting.
The beautiful thing about making collage is that you divide the painting process in two. First, you make your collage paper and, second, you make your collage.
What do I mean by that? Well, the collage paper is a painted piece of paper that you tear or cut up for later use in your collage. By making your collage paper you can freely express yourself, try out all kinds of mark making techniques and experiment with shapes, colors, and value. Because you don’t think about making a final product yet you can feel free as a bird, and try whatever you want. For making this piece of collage paper, you pull out all of your paint and use your brushes and all of your mark making tools, which takes some time. So you can make your collage papers at moments that you have some time on your hands.
A collage, on the other hand, is a piece of cardboard or other sturdy material, on which you mount pieces of collage paper, and combine this with paint and mark making tools if desired. A collage can be made relatively quickly. Since you already have put an effort into making beautiful collage paper, you already have some great basic material to start with. I often don’t use brushes for making my collage but, instead, use only my fingers. Then I just have to wash the glue and the paint off my fingers, and I’m ready to move on with my day.
The other thing that I love about collage making is that it helps you to experiment with composition in a very easy and natural way.
When you make your collage paper, you don’t worry about composition at all. You are free to paint whatever you like. Once you start making your final collage, you can play with how the different visual elements relate to each other. You do this playing with composition very intuitively, not from theory. And by playing a lot, you learn what kind of compositions you like. Slowly you develop your artistic eye and your ability to make beautiful compositions that carry your very personal signature.
I have learned so much from collage making, and I have had so much fun along the way, that I decided to put all of my experience with collage making in this online course. I hope you start enjoying collage-making as much as I do!
A final thing: since I’m Dutch, I’m not a native speaker of English.. In the videos I will sometimes search for a word and you may notice second-language idiosyncracies in my pronunciation or grammar. If my speaking is unclear, please let me know. I will answer your questions and, if possible, improve the video.
Enough said! Let’s start and have fun!