Collage Journal Pages

Say “collage” to people and they reach for a magazine to tear up. No problem with using photos and type from a magazine, but there is so much more to collage than magazines.

Collage is my go-to technique when I’m working on art journal pages. Now that I’m working both on journal pages and on iHanna’s annual postcard challenge, I’m using a lot of collage.

Three photos into one image.

The first one is a photo collage. I started by printing an old hand-written journal page on a piece of ivory card-stock. Using three of Bo Mackison’s photos (with permission), I cut them into strips and mixed the images. I wanted to show both part of a full-bloom and a seed-head, because this page was about seeing only part of the whole and imagining the rest. It’s how we see the world–we don’t understand it all, so we arrange it the way we believe works.

This could also have been about time passing, the beauty of every stage of life, or the inevitable continuation of seasons. What any collage means to you is personal, and changeable. That’s one of the glories of art.

The next collage is about stark opposites–black and white. It’s about seeing and not seeing (this seems to be a theme for my journal pages.) The white paper is a Braille magazine. Thanks to Sylvia Perez from the Lighthouse, who offered to send me a no-longer usable magazine, headed to the shredder. (No worries that I snatched away a valuable resource.)

Braille paper on black Art Again paper from Strathmore.

I added hand-drawn designs, in white, to give the page another dimension–a visible one and a tactile one. There will be another page–white on white.  To those who read with their hands, there would be no difference in the page. To those who get information visually, the pages will have completely different meanings. Different people get different information from the same page.

I wrestle with a variety of communication problems every day, and it’s good to work them out through art.

Quinn McDonald is creating journal pages with art on one side and words on the other. Because for her, they can’t be separated.