Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Create a Memory Collage (4 yourself or a Loved One)

     Are you someone who saves mementos like movie stubs, matchbooks, and sand from that special beach?  I am!  This project is wonderful because it allows you to use these things in a work of art that can be seen often.  The memories these "treasures" hold will not be locked in a box or hidden inside a page most often unturned.  It is also a great piece to make for a loved one, be it husband or best friend, as a tribute to the fun times you have shared.
    Simply begin with a base.  Here I used a piece of framed art I was tired of.  I just removed the frame and painted a base color over the print beneath.  Wah-lah!!  A nice fresh start with a frame to boot! This piece was too 3-D to replace the glass but it is not needed.  Now it's time for the fun part..
   I made this collage for an "old flame".  I never gave it to him.  Yay for me, because it is one of my favorites ever and now I can share the technique with you:)  The basis of this was mementos from times spent in Memphis, along with times in L.A. , along with a small bit of painting.  If you are not a "painter"-- fill in the gaps with solid color, words, or maybe a piece of poetry.  Hand-painting is not necessary to end up with a cool design.
     Here is a closer look at the things I chose to commemorate the memories:

UPPER LEFT:  a matchbook, often the center of our "ice-breaker" jokes, sand and shells collected while beach-combing in Los Angeles, my bag claim ticket

UPPER RIGHT:  Kroger receipt for our dinner cooked together, bowling wristband, painting of us kissing to fill space

BOTTOM LEFT:   another matchbook (from a Mexican restaurant we shared a great meal at), a photo of my writing on the wall "January & Keith" at an LA dive (which happened to be Charles Bukowski's fav hangout back in his day)..
Cheesy, but hey, sometimes cheese is good..Especially on pizza:)

BOTTOM RIGHT:  coaster from a bar, movie ticket bedazzled with cheap "jewels" and gold trim taken from a Chambord bottle.  I painted behind the ticket using white paint and then used a knife to cross-hatch texture and evoke a light, feathery feeling and add dimension. 

CENTER  (or more appropriately, OFF CENTER):  a flyer from B.B. King's where we shared a night of singing the blues

     I hope this has inspired you to do something fun with all those things you're significant other laughs at you for saving.  Haha:) 
     Have fun with it!  Above all:  don't try to strive for perfectionism.  It's the love behind the work that makes it beautiful ..