Creating Image Through Collage and Transfers

Barbara Noah is a visual artist who teaches painting, drawing, mixed media, and 2D/3D interdisciplinary arts, including both representational and abstract work. She has taught at the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, UCLA, and Cal State University, Long Beach. Her art practice has included work in several media (digital imaging, painting, print, photography, sculpture, installations, and public art). She has exhibited in venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Artists’ Space and The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the City Museum in Nakhodka, Russia, the Shenzhen Art Institute Gallery in China, and the Biennial Exhibition of La Jeune Gravure Contemporaine-Paris in France. Her work has been published in ARTnews and Art in America. Barbara is the recipient of Artist Trust’s THA Grant and a Pollock/Krasner Grant. She received her B.A in Art from Mills College and an MFA from Pratt Institute in New York.
Saturday, Sunday
9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
Image options: If you want to make a collage with recognizable imagery, please bring some photos/images from which to select. If you prefer, you may instead make a non-objective abstract image or a text-based collage and bring materials to prepare for that. Bringing images for either option would be fine, too, so that you can decide as you work.

Themes or content:

You may come prepared with a general concept in mind or work more intuitively in class. If you choose to come with a general concept in mind, some options to consider are:

  • Personal – such as portrait or self-portrait, personal experiences, identity, etc.
  • Cultural – such as cultural background, mass media, pop culture, etc.
  • Social – issues in culture, science, politics, the environment, etc.
  • Visual, physical/material, emotional content

If may also wish to work intuitively, with no set plan, in which case the collage image will emerge out of the process.

Please bring $10 to class to reimburse the teacher for some shared materials, including varnish and some additional mediums. You may also need to bring a few more dollars if you wish to purchase a few sheets of heat transfer paper from instructor.

Required Materials List:

  • Scissors and/or X-acto Knife
  • Metal straight edge – approximately 18″ or other length you may already have 1″ to 2″ flat brush for glue application (no disposal brushes, since they tend to shed hairs into your work)
  • Acrylic gloss gel 8 oz. and/or acrylic gloss medium 8 oz. (both for gluing and coating – gel is thicker, medium is thinner, and both dry clear)
  • UHU clear glue stick (NOT the colored one with blue or purple indicator)
  • 2 empty containers – approximately 1/2 quart, but any size is fine for water, etc.
  • Paper towels or absorbent rags
  • A graphite pencil – from 2B to 6B, and white plastic eraser
  • Roll of waxed paper
  • A selection of collage materials of your choice:
    • Surfaces: Two 16 x 20 or 18 x 24 gessoed or primed wood panels – your choice of size. You can get ready-made primed panels, which come in various thicknesses like 1/8″, 3/8″. You may end up only using one, but bring two in case you have time to do more than one. Leave at least one in the packaging so that you can return the extra one later, if you wish.

    • 3D Object(s) – If you wish to do a collage on top of a 3D object in addition to or instead of a 2D collage on a flat panel, bring an object that fits on a tabletop work surface (small to medium size). Search your attic, garage, a thrift store, etc., to find something of interest to you and which you can coat with collage material. Matte or absorbent surfaces work better than hard, shiny surfaces, since adhesives bond to them better. If unsure, bring more than one object from which to choose in class. Examples – wood cigar box, plaster or other statuary, animal skull, old globe, etc.
  • Your choice of a selection of these collage materials:
    • 2D Collage materials from which to choose. Select those that interest you: Magazines (photos and text), catalogs, posters, previous art of yours (drawings, prints, photos, watercolors, etc.), newspapers, photos, wall paper, postcards, maps, origami paper, tissue paper, book pages, fabric, textiles, metallic papers, rice papers, art reproductions, photo copies, tickets, wallpaper, upholstery samples, candy wrappers, comics, stamps, journal pages, doilies, sheet music, memorabilia, wrapping papers, napkins, paper bags, maps, posters, and other found papers.
    • 3D relief materials: Small objects like buttons, organic material like plants or twigs (pre-dried), burlap, clock parts, sand, fibers, string, and various other found materials e.g., lace tablecloth, small articles of clothing, linoleum, corrugated cardboard, vinyl, faux leather, etc.
    • 3D objects on which to create collages – see 3D Object above.

Optional materials:

  • Small brayer (roller) or small hard plastic squeegee or other tool for burnishing down glued elements.
  • You may make a “pure” collage or combine collage with other art materials with which you have previous experience, which you could use on top of your collage surface. These could include:
    • Drawing materials, if you wish, including one or more of the following: 2B-6B graphite pencil, colored pencils, permanent pens (not resoluble in water) or markers, paint pens, etc.
    • Paints, with which you could tone your surface first (with water-base paint), if you wish, or use paint to work on top of your collage. Acrylic or oil paints; a variety of brushes small to larger, flats and rounds; disposable or other palette, palette knife, paints (your choice: white, black, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, an earth tone like raw sienna, burnt or raw umber).
In this class, we will explore multiple approaches to visual communication through collage and image transfer techniques, including but not limited to mixed media, 2-D planes, relief and 3-D surface work. Through the review of the work of modern and contemporary artists who utilize these mediums, we will gain inspiration and incorporate our learned collage and transfer techniques into personal, visual narratives. Be their work representational or abstract, students will have the freedom to approach their art with an initial plan, or work intuitively.