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Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review- Collage Playground

Collage Playground: A Fresh Approach to creating Mixed-Media Art by Kimberly Santiago is full of wonderful layering and mixed media techniques for creating collages. Several steps beyond anything you may have done in school, these techniques would also apply to rubber stamping and scrapbooking very well.
She uses old textiles, scanned images and lots of color to create these works of art. The beginning has instructions for the techniques used, followed by projects. Because of the nature of the pieces, and because it is an art book, the projects are starting points rather than hard and fast step by step projects. They give you ideas for ways to piece, layer, and create your own collages.
My favorite project in the book is the Anatomy of a Flower, using simple techniques in an elegant way, it's the most inspirational for me. My favorite technique in the techniques section is weaving. The use of old textiles in the books just thrills me as well. There is a vase full of flowers made with vintage handkerchiefs that comes in as my second favorite. It's bright, colorful, cheerful and the technique would work just as well with scraps of vintage floral fabrics from old treasured dresses. Or for that matter, it would work if you abandoned the flowers/vase theme altogether and designed something of your own based around your scraps.
It's a lovely book, lots of colors and ideas. It reminded me of how much fun collages were to make as a teen, and showed me a lot of ideas for playing with them as a grown up.

My son, who has never done any collaging, really liked this book and has been collecting pop culture ephemera to make his own collages. So that's a bonus. I love seeing my teens inspired to create.

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