Take a Collage Art Lesson with Jane LaFazio

If all had gone according to plan, I would have been taking a class with one of my mixed-media idols, Jane LaFazio, at the CREATE retreat in California this week. But my plans went astray and I wasn't able to make the trip.

mixed media collage art by cate prato
My textured collage after a "lesson" with Jane LaFazio.

So I did the next best thing: I took a collage art lesson from Jane at home. Actually, I downloaded Jane's Art Lesson: Textured Backgrounds, Transparent Foregrounds and made a collage following her instructions right in my studio.

This collage technique appeals to me because it combines many textures and uses a lot of little bits of stuff-ephemera, found objects, fabric scraps, and so on that I hoard. Plus this technique involves mindless (for the most part) cutting and gluing, which I find so pleasant and meditative.

To make a collage inspired by Jane, I first collected my textured background supplies: little scraps of maps, scrapbook paper, tags and so on plus bread ties, drywall tape, and fiber trims. With soft gel medium I glued down each bit onto heavy watercolor paper. At first I worked randomly, then I occasionally squinted at the collage to see if I needed something darker here or something thicker there.

When I was satisfied with the background, I let it dry and worked on my foreground shapes. The background was making me think of travel and possibility, so I traced my hand and freehand drew a bird on tissue paper with permanent marker and cut them out.

After adding details and auditioning them on the background, I decided I needed some words. I chose "whither" and "whence" because they connote travel (though I'm sure I was also influenced by watching "Hamlet" the other night on TV).

mixed media collage by jane lafazio
Textured collage art by Jane LaFazio.

Following Jane's directions, I carefully glued down the tissue pieces, waited impatiently for them to dry, and then brushed watered-down acrylic paint over the background and around the tissue drawings. Adding the colored paint really brought out the texture of the collage background.

I decided my white motifs needed some color, so I added some paint here and there. Voila!

Honestly, with Jane's detailed guidance and suggestions, plus the video tutorial that comes with the download, Textured Backgrounds, Transparent Foregrounds really did seem like taking an art lesson with the artist herself.

You can download your own copy now, plus check out the other Art Lessons offered by some of your favorite Cloth Paper Scissors contributors.

P.S. Who would you most like to take an art lesson with? Leave your comment below.

Categories

Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques

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