Small, intimate art workshops are such a joy! Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a Canmore Artists and Artisans Guild (CAAG) workshop presented by collage artist Ursula Reynolds, of River Rock Studio.
The one-day course took place inside the Canmore High School. Twelve of us (plus instructor) showed up at 10 am, and it was so fun to be in an obviously well-loved artroom inside a school. We had quite a bit of room, and good thing because, as Ursula put it, “Everything can be turned into collage!” Ursula was a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor; plus she was organized, kind, helpful, experienced. She made it a warm environment to learn in.
Once settled, Ursula taught us a method that is based on the teachings of Jonathan Talbot, where (put rather simply) you coat the collage elements first, then adhere them later. This method allows you to place your collage materials, try their position out (because they are slightly tacky but don’t stick permanently) and move them around until you are satisfied. Then, you use heat (via a tacking iron) to adhere the elements together on a layer.
After taping off our pieces of watercolor paper (the base for our art) we jumped right in and began adding layers.
We tried lots of techniques, including photo transfers (I used old photos of my ancestors, hiking or skiing in the mountains), gluing tissue paper over layers, or adding found objects like garden flowers or leaves.
It was a wonderful day of exploration. The best thing was just to dive right in and try different techniques. That’s what I love about a workshop. It lets you play as you find your voice, and I often have several “ah-hah moments” where my mind clicks ahead to other ways I can use these techniques in my own art practice.
It’s liberating, instructional, and just plain fun. Here are a few images that walk you through the process from our day of fun and learning with collage.