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Artist Collages x 4 ways

Artist Collages:

Are you a teacher looking for some at-home learning activities, or are you a parent just trying to stave off the boredom of school holidays? Well, I have four simple collage projects sure to entertain and educate.

These activities are all inspired by the work of modern and contemporary artists, and so each activity provides a platform for talking with your kids about diverse and engaging creative practices.

All projects will take under an hour, can be made any size, and will use little more than card/paper, scissors and glue. 

Lets get to it…………..

Yayoi Kusama (Japan): Explore shape, repetition, optical art, mental wellbeing

To make this Kusama inspired circle collage you will need some sticky dots, they might be lying around the house, or you can buy them in the stationary section. Cover white card in dots, I did half close together and half far apart for different effects. Paint over the dots with red paint. Once the paint is dry, peel off the dots, cut the painting into circles, and stick to a new piece of bright paper. 

Find out a little bit more about this legendary Japanese artist here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yayoi_Kusama

Piet Mondrian (The Netherlands): Explore primary colours, pattern, rhythm, city planning/landscape

Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie (1944) is still a favourite of mine. To make this vibrant but minimal artwork you will need the primary colours in paper or card. Cut two of the coloured pieces into strips and glue the strips down to the remaining one all in the same direction. Once dry, cut the collage the opposite direction of the glued pieces so you end up with pattered strips. I personally like when the strips are various thicknesses. These can now be glued down to a white paper or card either all diagonal, or horizontal/vertical. Try think of the composition like city streets in birds-eye-view.

Hit this link to find out some more about Mondrian’s geometric abstracts – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian

Rosalie Gascoigne (New Zealand): Explore recycling, text, advertising, monochrome colour

Let’s take Gascoigne’s love of recycled materials and make a brilliant text-based newspaper collage. Cut out the bold headlines from a newspaper into strips, then reduce them down to smaller squares and rectangles. Using a yellow or orange A5 background card/paper (Gascoigne loved yellow road signs) apply a thick layer of glue in a rectangle and start collaging your pieces down in a semi-grid arrangement. Now and then you might like to flip the pieces over to see if there is something more interesting and unexpected on the back!

Check out some of Gascoigne’s beautiful work here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalie_Gascoigne

Ken Done (Australia): explore colour, stylization, kitsch/Australiana, ocean ecosystems

Most of us have a soft spot for the bright and sweet paintings of Ken Done. To make this collage you just need paper or card is bright colours, scissors and glue. I chose to make one of his iconic fish. Start with a simple oval shape, and glue this down to a new coloured card. When you cut it out again, leave a boarder plus add some fish lips, a tail, and fins. With a few new colours start adding new bold details, colour daubs, chunky lines, and maybe an eye. Glue your fish onto a background colour and add some wavy background lines. If you like you can use a black pen to add some definition and final patterns.

Learn more about Aussie icon Ken Done here……. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Done

These projects tick all of the boxes – budget friendly, exploring artists, having fun with collage, heaps of extension ideas.

Be sure to share with us your projects. We would love to see your collage creations.

Yours in Art,


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