Sue Pelletier believes everyone is an artist, and she wrote a book to prove it. Sue's new book, Collage Paint Draw, will show you how to use images you love in your artwork, and how to make that artwork stand out with color, texture, and harmony. Sue's also going to be featured in a live webinar on Thursday with Mary Beth Shaw, in Mary Beth's Book Club for April. You can register for the webinar, or bundle the webinar with Sue's great book!
You won't want to miss this-we're lucky to have both Sue and Mary Beth, and they can't wait to teach you some new techniques.
I'll be introducing both artists for the webinar, and I thought it would be fun to ask Sue a few questions about her process-and also if a drawing-challenged person like I am can truly create the kind of stunning artwork Sue features in her book.
Jeannine: Sue, for someone whose drawing skills are less than great, how can someone include beautiful imagery in their collages? I love the fun shoes and dresses that use in your pieces.
Sue: If what you are drawing or painting comes from your soul, there is no way you can go wrong. I also believe in happy accidents, which is part of the beauty of mixed media. I teach six-year-olds to do contour line drawing by looking at what they are drawing, go slowly, and break everything down into line and shape. The same goes for big kiddos (adults). The imagery I use in my work includes things that matter to me. It's simple-paint and draw what you love! I go to flea markets and yard sales and vintage dresses and shoes speak to me.
Jeannine: There's so much detail in your collages-do you need a ton of supplies to get that effect?
Sue: You absolutely do not need a lot of materials to create a layered mixed-media piece! I collect old books from yard sales, rusty wire, scraps of fabric … as long as you use heavy matte gel medium, you can literally adhere anything to your work! The more you layer-and if you don't rush the layering-the piece develops a depth, full of subtle fabulousness. Layer, layer, and layer some more!
Jeannine: The collages in your book are so vibrant. How do you decide on a color palette when working on a piece?
Sue: The colors I use are all a similar palette. I swoon over periwinkle, teals, butter yellow, and subdued reds and magentas. I love color! I am not a purist so I will buy expensive paints, cheap paints, house paint, and even chalkboard paint. I tend to work on several paintings at a time, so the colors are cohesive. If you throw periwinkle paint in my direction I can pretty much build on that. Again, not a purist, so often I mix white gesso into a color as I am working.
Jeannine: Last question: Why do you like incorporating text in your collages?
Sue: I use a lot of text in my work for several reasons. I love doing a layer of text with a color wash over it to build up a surface. I also love to use text to incorporate humor into my work. I believe letters and numbers help ground a piece, and provide a little sneak peek focal point!
If you'd like to post a question for Sue, please do so in the comments, and then join the webinar to hear your answer! Also, check out the great kit we have to go along with Sue's book!