Exploring art materials and mark making used in collage

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Jesus Christ – Book of John 14:26

I have been studying the Bible, English Standard Version, on the subject of the Holy Spirit. There are several references throughout the Bible. As I understand the ESV Biblical Doctrine Overview pages 2520-22, the Holy Spirit is an entity in itself, part of the Godhead (Trinity) sent by God as helper, comforter, teacher to humans as they work for God through Christ. The Holy Spirit also endows believers with gifts or skills they may use to do the work of God.

So my blog readers are probably saying to themselves Why is she telling me all this? Well, I believe I have the gift of encouragement, if that in fact is one of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure, but I love to encourage people when they have doubts about their skills and I see they have potential. That is one reason I write this blog so that I can encourage others to try making arts and crafts. I do this by sharing my experiences including mistakes and solutions I encounter. Here are some of my methods.


As I do my collages, I constantly ask myself what am I trying to say with this piece? I search my mind for ideas and then try to communicate that using various materials. I usually like to start with a theme and tell a story, or create an impression. Recently, I’ve been keeping an art journal where I am trying out all the assignments of the #Wanderlust 2021 art classes. We are exploring materials and methods.

Creative Permission

Sometimes fear of making a mess or unfamiliarity with products or tools can keep artists from starting or finishing projects. Creators often fear being judged. There are tools for getting past the creative block and fear of the blank page. I am learning some of them in my class. The last two assignments were a challenge for me because we are exploring materials and have been asked by our instructors to just have fun and concentrate on making marks and not focus on the content. I followed their encouragement and just picked some materials from my stash and started making random marks. Here is the first lesson on Serendipity I completed.

Serendipity making marks.

I started this one by randomly spraying diluted acrylic paint letting it flow, spread and drip to make random marks. Then, I painted random shapes with various size brushes using a tertiary palette of yellow-orange, green-yellow, red-violet, blue-green and violet. I noticed the blotches resembled flowers so I embellished them adding petals, leaves. I chose comforting images and words on torn papers I had in my stash. I pasted on a self-portrait photo outlining it in pen to make it stand out. I journaled a few thoughts on my mind. Lastly, I added splatter and spray and purpley eye-shadow powder to the flower centers. To create intrigue and cover some of the words, apply white gesso. Also white gesso will mute or dilute a color if you want. It also will cover up anything you want to hide or do-overs. Just be sure to let it dry thoroughly if you want to paint over it without mixing or diluting the new color application. This may take several coats drying each before applying a new coat. The second Serendipity assignment project is below.

5 materials no plan

I chose 5 materials to randomly fill my pages. The purpose was to make marks and pay attention to how the materials can interact to make something comprehensive. I started with a journal page that already had some painted shapes upon it. I chose a ballerina stencil to draw the girl, and then I stamped some little birds using different colored inks. I used another stencil to create a garden of flowers and some trees. I liked the image of a flying bird I found in a Tulia Coloring book & traced three of them onto the pages. I added texture from bubble wrap pressed on an inked stamp pad and applied to the page. Next, I painted the sky using swirls of diluted acrylic paints. Made ahead hearts stamped with a sentiment were pasted in place so they represented balloons carried by birds and girl. Positive sentiments are spouted by the girl who is jumping for joy through her garden wrapping up the unintended story. Here are a couple closeups of the two page spread.

Page 1 of Serendipity Mark Making

Remember when you start you shouldn’t have a preconceived idea. Just start adding the elements. In this case, my intuition filled in the blanks and helped me place items ascetically and it turned into a scene. I added the hearts last and thought then they looked like balloons. Voila, I had a story.

Page 2 Serendipity Mark Making

Kudos to:

  • www.stencilgirlproducts.com
  • www.dickblick.com
    • Acrylic Paint – various brands
    • Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils
    • Golden Medium Matt and Gesso
    • Blick Studio Markers
  • www.scrapbook.com
    • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Crayons
  • www.everything-art.com
    • #wanderlust2021

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