When I get myself into an artistic lull, I have a mixed media method that I employ. I’ve had friends try it as well and it can produce fun results.
Here it is.
Step One: Image Selection
My get out of a rut method is very simple. I go to my collage stash and start to look through it – quickly. When I see something which catches my eye – I pull it out. Speed is important here. I’m looking for that instant gut feel that says ‘Pick me!’
I usually pick between 5 – 10 images and know that I won’t use all of them. The collage above I think uses just 4, although often it’s about 6-8 pieces together. While those familiar with Dover PIctorial’s re-use policy may think this target number is because you can use up to 10 of their images in your project copyright free, it’s more because too many pictures and I get a little lost in the process of pulling out all the imagery.
Step Two: No refining
Having selected my 5-10 images, there is a temptation to ‘assess’ them. I could say that I can’t have a hand that’s just as big as the woman. Or I have a background which looks to be indoors but I have a rhinoceros. The whole point of my quick selection process is to stop making predictable combinations. If there is any refining to be done, it will only be culling a few of the images I have chosen. Selecting more is not an option.
Step Three: Putting it together
The lovely part about collage is shuffling the bits around before deciding to stick! There are entire blog posts dedicated to the best ‘glue’ for collage. Personally, I love matt medium. I see no reason to look at anything else.
These days most of my collages will be couple with some other media – whether that’s acrylic glazes, charcoal or – my favourite – Caran D’ache Neocolor I wax oil pastels (a very long way of saying ‘expensive swiss crayons).
Yet looking at the collage above, going back to just black and white collage may be fun. I’m off work until January 2nd, I feel a collage coming on.
If you’re in a rut, give the above a go! It may not result in your best artwork of all time but I can assure you, fun will be had and something will get created.