Book Review: Collage with Color

Collage with Color (Book Cover)

Collage with Color: Create Unique, Expressive Collages in Vibrant Color by Jane Davies. Photography by John Polak. 2005. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 978-0-823-00797-4

Jane Davies is one of my favorite contemporary mixed media artists, so when I came across this book, Collage with Color: Create Unique, Expressive Collages in Vibrant Colors, I knew I was in for a treat.

 Title page in Collage with Color by Jane Davies.

Title page in Collage with Color by Jane Davies.

In Collage with Color, Davies walks readers through the process of choosing materials, altering paper, and composing collages with unity, symmetry (or asymmetry), visual density, and balance. She explains color theory using clear, simple language and approaches collage-making in terms of process, rather than end result. Toward the end of the book, Davies includes projects with step-by-step instructions for those who would like to try their hand at making gift tags and greeting cards, pop-up cards, books and journals, boxes, and more.

 Making Patterned Papers in Collage with Color by Jane Davies

Making Patterned Papers in Collage with Color by Jane Davies

My favorite part of Collage with Color was the section on making patterned papers. Davies provides written instructions for making all types of textured papers from spattering and stenciling to sgraffito and gesso resist, but the pictures tell just as much of a story and—without reading a word—you will want to grab some supplies and start altering your own paper.

Anyone who has watched Jane Davies' YouTube videos will know that pattern-making and playing with line and color are integral to her approach to collage. She continues to honor this approach in Collage with Color and offers example after example throughout the book. Davies writes:

"Using patterns as a primary source of collage elements can transform the simplest composition into a dynamic image. Making patterns on paper and designing collages with them are process-oriented activities. You may find as much value in the activity itself as in the resulting paper and collages" p. 7
 Collage and Composition in Collage with Color by Jane Davies

Collage and Composition in Collage with Color by Jane Davies

Collage with Color is a book I can easily recommend for collage artists and crafters of all age and skill levels. If you are looking for a place to start or need some inspiration, this is the book for you.

Have you read this book? If so, tell me what I have wrong (or right!).

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Cheers!--Janyce