Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mixed Media Workshop with Carol Nelson

This is most of the enthusiastic group that was cuttin', and tearin', and pastn' in my torn paper collage workshop held at Judy Patti's studio.

That's me in the back row for a change (I was standing on a stool).
We learned about altering all kinds of papers from newsprint, to copy paper, to deli paper, to tissue paper, to tyvek, to metal foils for use in our mixed media masterpieces.

After altering our papers the first day, students were asked to create a collage of a single subject object - such as an animal, bird, flower, etc.  The second day, most felt brave enough to tackle an abstract composition.  I brought several examples of my own work which they were encouraged to copy if needed.

With so many mixed media materials to choose from, I took care to tell them to use a limited palette and a simple cruciform design pattern.  I told them that I would slap their hand if they put anything in the corners, the idea being to work out from the center of interest.

Often times, with abstract work, students aimlessly arrange the mixed media components without really thinking about composition.  That kind of approach leads to a mish mash of random placements - like a big hunk of tyvek stuck in the corner, for example, that in no way contributes to the whole design.

I also told them to pay attention to values.  Since these abstract works were layered with one paper element on top of another, it was very important to have darks on lights, and lights on darks.

My threat of corporal punishment worked because there were so many beautifully composed mixed media abstracts produced!  And some students had never even done this type of work before.  I was so proud of them.

For more information on my upcoming workshops, click here to go to my website.

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