Category Archives: collage

TBT: Home Mandala

 Home mandala.

The images in my home mandala are symbols.  What are your images of “Home”?  What do your symbols mean?



Mandala collage


TBT The Blue Door

Throw Back Thursday, TBT The Blue Door.  Mixed Media Collage.

Mixed Media, collage, Running Geisha, The Blue Door, art, acrylic, TBT

Everybody’s Ocean Art Exhibit at MAH

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Everybody’s Ocean, an art exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.  Wave II runs Feb 27 through Apr 19.

My submission, “Jellies”, an abstract mixed media art piece of the surreal and ghostly jellies as they drift through the upper ocean realm.

Scuba diving in Monterey Bay, we saw many jellies as they were a frequent visitor.  As jellies float slowly through the water, it was easy to get close to examine them.  Sometimes one could spot small crabs on the bell, or an unfortunate fish tangled in the tentacles.  And sometimes swarms of jellies surrounded and flowed passed us.

For me, having lived along the coast all my life, the ocean is a circadian rhythm.

To be full immersed in the ocean, to give in to the power of the ocean, and to let oneself be gently rocked in the ocean’s embrace is an incredible feeling.

The ocean is life.  The ocean provides food, water, and air.  Without the ocean we cannot exist.

Framing on a rainy day

For me framing is the most nerve wracking part of making art, and that is why it costs so much to have a professional frame your art.  I prefer the “floating” method, especially for my watercolors as I like the deckle edges to show.  This piece is for the “Everybody’s Ocean” exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Feb 27 to April 19, 2015.

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Collage: Adhesives and sealants

paper collage with corrugated circle and blue thread

Quiet Night I, mixed media collage, 2013

While researching outdoor collage/decoupage sealant, I recently came across a comment posted on a forum: “I just finished a collage on a panel made out of newsprint and magazine pages. I used a glue stick to create the piece and then tried to seal it with varnish. Unfortunately, the paper buckled and many edges peeled away from the panel. Basically it is ruined.

While glue sticks are fast and convenient, for a collage you want to finish with a liquid varnish, it is not sufficient.  In my experience, the collage image must be glued to the panel with white glue, Mod Podge, or acrylic medium.  The whole back of the image must be covered in glue. Any area of the image which is not stuck to the panel will bubble when a liquid sealant is applied and it can tear or come up.  In the case of the question above, the polymer varnish will not keep the image stuck to the panel; it is the initial gluing that will do that.  I use a rubber roller, the Speedball hard rubber brayer, to press the glued image to the panel, this helps to ensure there are no air pockets and that the entire image adheres to the panel.

When working with delicate papers that might buckle or tear, or with ink or paint that might smear with the glue or sealant, I spray the pieces with clear acrylic before I apply the glue.  This will help to seal the image and also adds a bit of body to the paper.  There is an art to spraying.  With delicate paper you will not want to spray so much that the piece is soaked.  It is a slow process, spray with a couple of even sweeps and then let it dry.  Repeat 2 more times.  Follow the safety directions printed on the acrylic spray paint.

I usually apply glue to the back of the image rather than to the panel. However when using extra thin paper such as tissue paper which could tear while applying the glue, I will apply the glue to the panel and very carefully place the image.

I prefer to use white glue with paper, but this takes longer to dry.  After the initial gluing, I like to press my collage under a stack of books overnight.  If I am using bulky papers or object, such as buttons, I use acrylic gels as the adhesive.  If objects are large and have some bulk then I use heavy duty gel, such as Liquitex Super Heavy Gel.  The heavy gels will take longer to completely dry.  Additionally you may have to prepare your object before adhering to your panel by cleaning it and sanding it to give the object “tooth”, something on to which the glue can hold. In the collage above, I used white glue for the paper images and acrylic gel medium for the corrugated cardboard circle.

Not all collages will need to be sealed.  In ‘Quiet Night I’, the collage above, it is not sealed. If you decide to seal your collage, it should be completely dry before you begin to seal it.  I use Liquitex and Golden mediums and varnishes to seal my collages.  Consider using a UV medium if you are worried about fading.  Spray varnishes are fast and work well for mixed media collages.