Let's Define it: Collage

December 22, 2021


From the French, coller, meaning "to glue" or "to stick together", collage is an art technique that involves combining different materials such as photographs, paper, and fabric. The word is primarily associated with visual arts, but collage also occurs in music. Collage is closely linked with the concept of assemblage (which we talked about in last week's email) and is subtly different from pastiche, which is a form of "pasting" together.

Collage can be made with all kinds of everyday objects from magazine and newspaper clippings, ribbons, bits of wrapping paper, photographs, pieces of text, paying, trinkets, junk, and much more. Given our theme for December, we thought it was the perfect technique to explore.

To get started, we highly recommend looking at this fantastic studio tour and interview with Eunice Parsons, a 105-year-old collage artist.

"Every artist I know carries in their head no less than 50,000 images!"


Junk Mail Collages

At our last roundup, there was a lot of talk about using all of the junk mail that had piled up during the pandemic. We love this idea and thought we'd share a tutorial to inspire you to turn all of those end-of-the-year mailers and catalogs into something beautiful.

Click on the image below to watch a demo from Libby Worth, a fellow junk mail enthusiast and collage expert!

Wet on Wet Collage

We love this video from collage artist Judy Verhoeven, especially the discussion at the start about the materials she uses in her wet on wet collage method. There are a lot of great tips here related to treating your paper, using glue, and working on panels. Plus, we adore the tiny feathery details she adds near the end to give her subject some extra personality

Found Object Stamping

In this demo, an energetic teacher shows her students how to print with spools, blocks, lids, and more. It's a simple technique, but it makes you think about what kinds of things you can make simply by dipping it into some paints and pressing it onto some paper. While this video is probably intended for a much younger artist, hearing her talk about the classroom "imagination station" really brought a smile to our faces, and we hope it will do the same for you!