What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, September 07, 2012

Thoughts on Collage Work

I've often said that I don't just randomly glue stuff down solely for the sake of covering a page. I've been doing this long enough to have amassed a decent size collection of ephemera and stuff that's relevant to the way that I work. In other words, I know what colors, images, symbols, patterns, etc... that I am drawn to.

Usually I tell my students to start by collecting a small pile of background papers and a few focal images that appeal to them and to place in their pile whatever catches their eye. From that selection, you can start to create a page.

When I go to create a page, I don't worry that every piece of paper has a meaning. I've already established the importance of the paper (to me) by placing it in my stash and sorting it aside for using NOW. It's something that happens without me even being conscious of it.

As I start to select my papers to use to create a page, I tend not to worry about anything other than choosing what I like to reflect my current mood and what I might want the page to say. In other words, I start by picking what I like from my now stash.

I picked the papers on the page above: the one that says Boston (where I'm from), the astrological chart (my friend, Krista made it for me and it's my birth chart) and the image of the girl who looks upset, wandering and wondering (perfect for my mood the moment I created the page.) The other papers and ephemera I chose because I liked them and they fit the mood of the page. I tend to sort through my stash quickly pulling aside anything that catches my eye, makes me stop and think, "A-ha!" and is relevant to the page that I'm creating. I start by picking what I like. I use certain colors and repeated patterns and symbols because they mean something to me (yes, folks, I use a lot of pink for a reason...) I only know this because I've been repeatedly working and creating in journal form for quite some time now. I can look back on my pages and see these repeated images, symbols, colors, etc... It's like I've developed my own visual vocabulary that's specific to ME.

All that said, don't stress and strain that every thing you do has to have meaning. Start by picking what you like and go from there. You can create your own meaning as you work on your pages. Play. Experiment. Explore. See what evolves and develops on your own pages.  You'll soon realize that you have created your own visual vocabulary!


trish quilty said...

Thanks again for reinterating the how to for your journal pages, which you know I admire. You make it sound so simple and I have to learn not to antagnoize over each page!!
Havent been creating as was having knee replacement surgery. I thought when I got home I would go to town. But find I am too exhausted and with PT, OT< nurse and aide here most days well you can see what happens. Soon I hope.

Kelly Kilmer said...

Hi Pat,

I learned a long time ago that beating myself up over my art doesn't get me anywhere. Yes, I still beat myself up over stupid crap but I won't allow it for my art. ;)

I hope you're feeling better soon. Try not to beat yourself up over art making. Concentrate on getting well and healing. Fill your creative well with books, movies, music, whatever makes you happy and feeling better until you can start creating again.

Big hugs,


MarleneMAZ said...

Thanks for this post Kelly, kind of needed to see it right now. I have been off art journaling the last few months and finally starting to think about it again. Sending you hugs :)

Susie said...

Y E S!!!! My thoughts exactly. Collage is an amazing visual language, a dialect all it's own.

Cat said...

It's funny, you commenting on your use of the color pink, when just yesterday I commented to myself that you use alot of pink...and I love it!! I love pink but don't use it much. But I keep thinking I need some of that hot pink washi tape you love.

I also have files of images that I use but I don't have a NOW stash so maybe that's why collaging isn't so effortless for me. Maybe that should be my next step. As always, thanks for sharing your process!!

Janine Whitling said...

great suggestions. Its something to remember no matter what art you're making.

Unknown said...

Hi Kelly..I tend to pick images that reflect my mood, or one that will remind me of something that has happened in my life and I take it from there. My pages seem a little simple..but over all I.m pleased. I learned a lot from you work shop in the city. Thanks for sharing.Hugs Deb

Anonymous said...

I really know what you mean. I love collecting pieces that speak to me. One thing that I seem to be different in than most people is that I don't like using images of people. It's very, very rare that I'll pick out an image of a person. Not sure why - it's just the way I am :)

Kelly Kilmer said...

@Marlene, I hope that the post encourages you to pick up your journal again and dive right in!

@Susie, EXACTLY! :)

@Cat, Having a NOW stash vs having to dig through a mound of stuff has helped me immensely. I'm always ready to dive right in. It's not as overwhelming and I LOVE being able to make art in a short period of time!

@Janine, YES! :)

@Deb, Simple is fine. As long as you are happy and content with the pages and they say what you want them to say, that is all that matters. Thank you for the kind words.

@stitch It's funny as I wasn't always drawn to images of folks either. I am more drawn to using feminine imagery in my work. I use what I identify with and that's all that matters. Use what you feel most comfortable and drawn to. :)