The Beauty of Mixed Media Collage





Please join me for our next round of art collecting that has been occurring as we reembark on our fantasy art collection. As we look over the most recent choice pieces for our fantasy collection, it appears that what we have here are a few select pieces of mixed media collage to offer for your thoughts and viewing.

The most fascinating thing to me about the best mixed media collage is twofold.

The artist who captures the most perfect arrangement of materials is the master.Textures and surfaces appear in such a way that size, shape, color and form seem to land randomly,as if by accident. Despite the apparent randomness of arrangement, the greatest master collage artist will somehow exhume a coherency of relationships that appear to be arranged by only the most divine providence.

Elegant elocution that sings simultaneously of careless abandon along with perfectly measured placement is the earmark of a mixed media collage masterpiece.

I remember my days in graduate school when I was learning how to paint. I was pretty “God” at painting, you see, or so I thought. So I hauled myself to a completely different part of the country to study painting in graduate school, to do what I knew I was really good at doing for nonstop two or three years straight. How could I go wrong, right?

Well imagine my surprise when I relocated to the beautiful mountains of Western Massachusetts and discovered that I could not paint to save my soul. In my first year in the graduate program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I felt like such a dismal failure, as everything I painted turned to despicable mush right in front of my very eyes. The harder I worked, the more atrocious my work became. And believe me, at that point I would have gladly taken atrocious for an outcome if it had at least been a powerful atrocious.

But no, my paintings then were not even that. So one day I took every painting I had done all semester, ripped them all to shreds, and flung everything into the floor.


I looked down and saw the beginnings of a new kind of awareness developing, something that contained visual impact and meaning, beyond the broken pieces of my miserable failure. Because the broken pieces conveyed unexpected connections between the torn fragments, a new arrangement of power and beauty was beginning to emerge.

imageThis is where my love, and admiration of mixed media collage began. And this journey of unexpected, unanticipated connection and meaning continues to this day when the search for meaning creates an art work that captures the moment in a way the surpasses all sense of time and place.



So here I offer to share with you a few of my favorite really special collage treats for your enjoyment and pleasure. I hope that you will enjoy these mixed media collages as much as I have.

Again, I welcome your comments and insights. Please share in the comments below.



Designer Collage Tote by Janis Kirstein. To see more go to: