Book review: Collage Sourcebook

Whenever I'm at my local library, I wander through the art section to see what's new. That's how I discovered Collage Sourcebook, a thick book filled with projects by collage artists working in different mediums and styles.

Book review of Collage Sourcebook
I'm not crazy about the way the book is organized, but the content itself is useful and inspiring. There are hundreds of detailed photos, step-by-step instructions and "Creativity Tips" by individual artists. I learned what collagraphy is (using a collage as a printing plate), and I "met" new artists whose work I'll follow in the future (like Peter Madden, Judi Riesch, and Candace Walters.

Two sections are my favorites: "Exploring Creativity" and "Chronicling Relationships." Deborah Putnoi describes her creative process like this:
"I need to rip paper and collage the torn shreds onto a white canvas. I need to feel the paint sliding over the textured surface, to thrust my brush into the heart of the composition. I crave the feeling of my materials. I love to mix colors an whatch the subtle ways they can change color by just the slightest addition or subtraction of another color." (p. 157)
I like to rip paper, too.

My great grandmother, Maria Madia
My great-grandmother, Maria Madia
One of the projects that inspires me is "What I Think I Know about Elizabeth and Maggie." Maria G. Keehan's diptych shows her two grandmothers and objects that reflect their lives and personality.

I would like to do something similar for my grandmothers -- or even my great-grandmothers, who I never knew but wonder about. Like my great-grandmother Maria Madia, who left her family in Southern Italy and traveled to the U.S. when she was only 19. Was she scared, I wonder? Excited? Did she know my grandfather already, who she would soon meet and marry in West Virginia? I'd like to explore these questions in a collage like Keehan's.

One caveat about Collage Sourcebook -- it is a compilation of material from two earlier books (Collage Art: A Step by Step Guide and Collage for the Soul).