Monday, March 1, 2010


Well, now I know you can overwork a collage!

I'm going to send this to Elizabeth at Paper Paintings to see what she says about it and what suggestions she has for making a better one next time.

So....what did I learn?

1. Collage can be very meditative and calming, and you can do as much or as little as you want at a time.

2. You can fall in love with a color and go overboard with it.

3. Planning (values and colors and composition) is important from beginning to end.

4. Gathering your papers before starting is a good idea, and laying them over the painting before gluing them is also a good idea.

5. If you don't have the shape you want when you tear your paper, don't just use that piece - tear it correctly to get the shape you want.

6. Incorporate words from the beginning if you want words in your college - don't just tack them on at the end because you forgot you wanted them.

7. I should study how Elizabeth does her animal eyes and rounds her paper pieces at times to give her shapes a fuller look.

8. I need industrial strength hand cleaner to get the acrylic medium off - must ask Elizabeth what she uses.

9. Next time, leave more of the canvas/board and underpainting showing and try for a 75-25 mix to see how that works.


Carol King said...

Hey Rhonda. I love your crow and your list of "what did I learn"

I suppose as long as you learned something, right?

I think your crow is beautiful and I really like your collage. Thanks for sharing all the steps.

Ginny Stiles said...

A great list of learning.
I used a brush for my gel medium so I didn't get too much on my hands. What I did, I let dry and peeled it off and then used Murphy's oil soap for the rest. It does a job on your nail polish however!!! Hahaha.
I like painting the back ground and the papers AT THE SAME TIME. Because I don't have a huge backlog of colors, I like to paint them AFTER I determine the palette. I also found if you are using green, for example, paint about 5 shades of green so you can use them for shading! Elizabeth's painted papers are quite large...I cut mine about 1/6 of the size of hers. I just don't need that much of one color. I think I heard Elizabeth say somewhere that she sometimes uses black ink for a detail here or there. I don't think I'd mind seeing that for an eye or a fine string or twig. And as she replied to you...if you want to cut the eye...go's your crow! She is just telling what SHE likes to do. My first paper painting was paper 100% but when I moved to the pineapple, I acrylic painted the background and left a lot of it just painted. I found that I like that a little better. GREAT JOB.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Rhonda, what beautiful textures you have achieved.
You don't sound happy with your addition of words...can you glue something on top of them if such is the case.
It is great of you to share your lessons learned with us!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I salute your patience and fortitude!! Loved reading your steps and what I learned.

Michelle Himes said...

It looks done. I like the way it turned out. You should do more of these.

When I took the Gerry Brommer collage workshop, someone put a tin of Boraxo in the restroom. Remember that stuff? We all used it to get the goo off of our fingers. Probably not great for the skin, but I'll be interested to hear if Elizabeth has any better ideas too.

Tara said...

Awesome work! I love working with paper. It is very relaxing.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Carol. Glad you like it :)
Ginny, I did use a brush but I tend to get the "glue" on my fingers when brushing it on the back side before putting it on the canvas. You must be tidier than I am and I don't have nails to worry about (could be I need nails to help me place those pieces).
Thanks so much, Christiane (I think the words will grow on me but they did seem like an afterthought).
Thanks for your comments, Pam, Tara and Michelle (Borax? I think I remember that...I've been thinking Goo Gone might work but it's pretty darned strong).

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Here is me waiting to see your copper background development of the crow and wow! it ends up a wonderful collage of texture and papers and lettering. How on earth are you criticising the result?? I love it ALL.

Great tutoring set of to dos and not to dos - many thanks teacher!

I think Ginny's idea of using pen for fine detail such as the eye, is a great answer to your dilemma.

RHCarpenter said...

Joan, that's another painting - the gessoed crow will have copper paint. This one is all about collage pieces and gluing bits on canvas board. I agree - a black ink pen should do the trick on a small eye.

MB Shaw said...

I think you did a terrific job. I love E's dvd and ordered it after seeing you mention it here. She does an amazing job - this is difficult work!! And seriously, I think yours is brilliant and I especially enjoyed reading your analysis. :-)

RHCarpenter said...

Mary Beth, she is great at this paper painting stuff - it isn't really easy but I found it very enjoyable - enough to do another some time in the near future.

Cathy Gatland said...

I am enjoying your crow series Rhonda, and love this collaged one - Elizabeth's paper paintings are on my list of things to try one day - when I do I'll come and check your list for things to remember, thank you!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Cathy, I'm glad you are enjoying the series :) Yes, Elizabeth's paper paintings are wonderful!!! I would love to see them in person - I may have to take a workshop someday from her :) Go over and see her cow today - I LOVE her cows...and her peacocks!