Tea for Tuesday – Mixed-Media Collage

If it's Tuesday it must be tea time, and this week I'm showing a mixed-media collage of teacups.

My tea room.

I inherited (my cousins might say "commandeered") a set of mis-matched teacups from my maternal grandmother. Apparently in the 1940s it was the custom to celebrate 20th wedding anniversaries by giving the couple a teacup, 20 being the year of china. I expressed an interest in them and my grandmother gave them to me. It helps to be an only child and the oldest female grandchild.

Today these teacups sit in what we call "The Tearoom" in our home; it's what ought to be the formal dining room. My grandmother's teacups are stacked three-high on an antique bookshelf and they make a pretty picture with their varying designs.

I used them as inspiration for this teacup collage made with paint and paper.

The background collage with found papers.

To make the collage, I started with scrapbook papers and found papers in greens and pinks. I just randomly tore the papers into pieces about 2" to 3" and glued them down onto a piece of heavy paper using decoupage medium.

Next, I took ephemera like receipts, tags, stickers, and so on and glued them down, too. I tried very hard to be random and not think about where I was placing the patterns and colors, other than to make sure there was a variety all over the page.

I let that dry while I cut my stencil. I used heavy black construction paper to make the colors and patterns pop out. I had made a stencil on paper based on my own drawing of a teacup. Then I simply folded the paper in threes, drew the outline of the teacup, and cut out the positive image with a craft knife.

The collage gets the mixed-media treatment with gesso and dripped fluid acrylic paint.

I could have used the collage as it was, but because I wanted the teacups to look like aged china, I hit the collage here and there with white gesso, spreading it over the collage with a sponge brush and then wiping off the excess. I left some areas more covered in gesso, some less.

Now I needed to add back some interest, so I dripped fluid acrylic paint on the collage and stood it on end over a protected surface to dry. Again, I tried not to direct the paint; I thought it was interesting how the edges of the paper pieces changed the direction of the paint in places.

The final mixed-media collage with teacups.

I placed the opened stencil over the collage to see what I had. I really wanted to let the chips–or collage motifs–fall where they may, but the teacup in the lower right-hand corner really needed some help. So I dripped a little more paint there.

Finally, I attached the cutout to the collage.

I have to say, it was very hard for me not to control the collage and the placement of the papers. But I love how the teacup cutouts reveal the designs. It was worth letting go of the control.

What do you think? How might you have done this collage differently? What advice do you have for me? Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow Tea for Tuesday on Pinterest and start your own #pinteatuesday pinboard. Our favorite pinboard wins a prize!


Blog, Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques


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