Why Collage?

           Or… sing?

Or climb mountains?

Or ride horses?

Or write poems?

Or… whatever you do that seems to arise from some invitation inside that says, “Come on! Let’s do this!”

It’s about how we’re made. Wired. Designed. Created.

Mini Collage #11 Round on the Ground      cSylvia Robertson 2017
    Mini Collage #12 Books and Bottles       cSylvia Robertson, 2017

A recent blog comment in this series asked me what my intended life metaphor was in the collage that post displayed.

I caught my breath. I hadn’t realized I’d attached “life metaphors” to so many other collages until I read that question. But, then, coming up with such metaphors seems to be part of how I’m wired, too.

Does how I’m wired make others tired? I hope not! But it could. Maybe I need to keep my metaphors to myself more…

Anyhow, there wasn’t one for the collage in question. In fact, I couldn’t even think up one!

Likewise the two collages above. Their great message: There is none! It’s just fun! (Or… Maybe that’s the message.)

I rip or cut out bits of color, texture, shape, line movement, and images or words that just appeal to me—for unidentified and unreasoned reasons. I start “playing” with the pieces of paper, sorting out similar and contrasting ones, pushing them around on a little 4 x 6 card, trying different arrangements.

Why? I don’t know, really! Except that’s a bent I believe God built into my pre-conceived makeup.

Some people run, and end up in marathons; some climb mountains, higher and higher; some sing; some build… (My husband, for example, loves to build buildings! He’s got them all over this property of ours!)… some draw intricate pencil renderings or slap paint onto canvasses. And some collage. What’s inside comes out—if unhindered—like butterfly from cocoon.

True, in areas of creativity, whatever the medium, the expression sometimes reveals thoughts, desires, and emotions in the heart’s hidden parts. Often these revelations surprise the artist/creator as much as anyone. But sometimes there’s no big message, no Great High Truth.

How did “Round on the Ground” come to be?

I saw circles. All through my scraps. Different textures, a few subdued colors. Clippings that invited me to underlay the circle arrangement with gravel and brick. The collage is simply a composition of “repetition with variation”—round stuff! I just liked doing it, and I just like looking at it. And I guess that’s really the bottom line in any kind of visual art. It’s something to look at. Period.

“Books and bottles” came together because a catalog happened to have a bunch of both in their displays, and the subtle colors went together nicely. I arranged the objects in a pattern, but it looked too stiff and static and lifeless. That prompted me to add the (quilted?) curves, lively round flowers, and curved black fabric with white circular designs.

The composition still looked fragmented with the different shelves too cut off from each other. On the catalog spread was a polka-dotted ottoman or two. I cut the dots into rows, echoing both the shelf rectangles and the circular shapes of black cloth and flower patterns. I used these rows to connect shelf to shelf and move the observer’s eye through the whole collage. Why’s the mortar board there? Just because of its color, and because it goes with books.

Just design. Just experimenting. Just fun…

Like God must have had when creating His flamboyant universe! [But there I go, bringing in extra meaning! Oh, my! Oh, me!]


Previous posts in this series:

Day 1 Mini Collage and 31-Days Introduction

Day 2 Collage: Nothing-But-Junk Fish

Day 3 Collage: What Grabs Your Heart?

Day 4 Collage: Why I Chose to do this 31 Days–Really

Day 5 Collages: On Being Transparent

Day 6 Collage: Salute to Birds and Dragonflies

Day 7 Collage: Got it Made in the Shade

Collage Day 8: Three Good Children’s Books to Inform Our Lives

Day 9 Collage: Smiles, Smiles (What Makes You Smile?)

Day 10 Collage: Which Way is Out?

Day 11 Collage: Rugged Rocks or Rugs?

Day 12 (non-junk-mail)  Collage: “Be Like the Bird…”

Lovelights and Blues (Day 13 Collage)

Day 14 Collage: “Fleur de Free” (Extended Cut Shape Technique)

Day 15 Collage: “The Beauty of Serenity”


4 thoughts on “Day 16: Two Collages, Just for the Enjoyment

  1. I had mentioned that I was going to make a collage and the response was “Why?” After looking at my apparently startled expression…they said “oh just to do something creative….”

  2. My first reaction to this was to want to ask if the word “just” was in there, in the response you heard. It almost makes it sound as if doing something creative is less important than doing something *not* creative! Wow, think of that: a world where people never did, or had done, anything creative! Where would we be? And what reflects the image of the Creator God in humanity more than creativity?

    Then I looked at my article, and its title, and saw how many times I used that word “just”! Hm. Wow. I am becoming increasingly aware of the power of words to build up or downplay things in people’s minds. And maybe the problem starts in the mind of the speaker, or writer, downplaying what’s really important because of not seeing and valuing it enough in the first place!
    Thank you.

  3. I honestly don’t know if they said “just” or if in making the connection from my conversation to your post I echoed the word “just.” Hmmm indeed.
    In a differnt conversation on Sunday with a new aquaintance who wants to learn to weave and enjoys sketching, she expressed a need to create and I responded that we are made in the image of God the creator, we should want to create!
    P.S. I did not end up making a collage– but made an example “word wall” using Charlotte’s Web as my literary example using vocabulary for elementary students and some vocabulary words for my college students.

    1. Well, a word wall could be pretty close to a collage.. That was something I liked about classroom teaching: It really did give me a chance to “do something creative.” 🙂

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