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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Collage Treasure Hunt

Sometimes things just came together, and here’s one of my favorite examples.

I was browsing through a magazine and came across this lovely image of two sheep. They just had to find their own special place in my art journal. So, I tore out the image, excited to begin the process of building a beautiful piece featuring these two noble creatures.

I have a large and growing collection of clippings saved from magazines. I organize them by dividing them into six categories and storing group in a 12” x 12” x 2” snap top plastic box designed for scrapbook paper. The categories are colors and textures neutral, colors and textures cool, colors and textures warm, images, backgrounds, and florals.

Let the treasure hunt begin!

One of the first clippings I found that related to sheep was the large, round, wooden bowl filled with balls of yarn - a perfect fit for the theme of sheep being animals we should be very appreciative of. I liked the dark colors at the top of the bowl and the way they coordinated with the cark background of the sheep themselves. Then I saw that the various yarns in the bowl were neutral colors, so that gave me my color scheme: warm neutrals with accents of a complementary color, in this case, turquoise.

Once I had my color palette, I could work on the background, using paint to create interesting textures and also to divide the piece vertically into three sort-of sections, beige on the left, pinkish beige in the middle, and nearly white with a little turquoise on the right.

Between my collection of image clippings and neutral color and pattern clippings, I found many more pieces that featured yarns and also a knitting swatch. I laid them out and glued them in place, then searched my old dictionaries to see if I could find a sheep illustration - and I did. Perfect! Those old dictionaries are great resources, and I snap them up when I find them.

And among those neutral color and pattern clippings, I began to find more and more pieces that I could cut or tear into shapes from which I could build the sheep a stylish shelter. The cut-out heart beneath the peak of the roof fit the theme beautifully. I didn't find this heart, but cut it from a piece of a magazine clipping what was the right color.

It was super fun adding the ink text and embellishments and cutting the tiny green willow leaf shapes. I don't remember where that inspiration came from, but I'm guessing it was just a combination of the green in the background above the shelter and coming across a little bit of green paper to cut the leaves from.

It's hard to resist adding a mother-of-pearl button if I see a place for one. And, by the way, the thread doesn't go through the paper. It's just tied through the holes of the button and then glued onto the page. That way, I don't have the thread showing on the other side of the paper which will be home for another spread.

The blobs of alcohol ink came last. I used them on so many of my spreads for a vintage, somewhat grungy look.

As I write this and remember how fun it was to construct the barn, I want to create another spread with a bunch of barns and a bunch of animals!

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