Collage Discovery Workshop, by Claudine Hellmuth

By | 3 October 14

cover of Claudine Hellmuth's first Collage Discovery Workshop bookCollage Discovery Workshop: Make Your Own Collage Creations Using Vintage Photos, Found Objects and Ephemera, by Claudine Hellmuth is classic and among the very best introductions to extraordinary collage techniques.

While many paper and mixed media artists have taken collage in extreme directions, a return to the basics is essential for new artists keeping illustrated journals, and those who want to explore “home grown” collage arts.

In the early 2000s, Claudine was among the most aggressive explorers of paper arts, and generously shared her insights with her students and through books like this.

If you look at this book and think, “Wait, didn’t I just see this same art in Somerset Studio?”, you may have. Claudine is still a leading name in the field.

However, you’re more likely to see people who’ve started with Claudine’s concepts and taken them in different — sometimes only slightly different — directions.

Frankly, it’s best to go back to the source. That’s where the inspiration well is the deepest and most satisfying, and this book is a fine starting point.

Pros

  • Simple directions with clear photos and text to show you exactly what to do.
  • Varied projects to inspire you, without requiring line-by-line copying. You’ll create unique, personal works from the very start.
  • Composition tips and other valuable advice in the back of the book, to help you past hurdles and give you fresh insights if your creativity stalls.

Cons

  • Published in 2003, this book isn’t as fresh and exciting as it was when it first appeared in print.
  • Some of these techniques are a little obsolete with the arrival of new materials for collage artists.
  • Some projects include scant directions and may confuse or overwhelm new mixed media artists.

Summary

While this may not seem like the freshest, most innovative book in the field, it is still a classic and well worth your time. (Claudine’s many other, more recent books build on some of these concepts and update them, big time.)

If you’ve ever looked at Somerset Studio‘s artwork and wondered how they make that art, this is a good place to start.

art books review - 3.5 stars – Find this book (at a super-low price, if you’re willing to buy a good, used copy) at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

 

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