Monday, April 19, 2010

Farmville Collage Exercise

This creativity exercise has nothing to do with the social gaming phenomenon your friends are all playing on Facebook. It's based on a watercolor landscape lesson plan posted by Kathy Barbro at Art Projects for Kids. To make a collage landscape that suggests a country road lined by farm fields, you'll need:
  • A magazine from the recycle bin
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • White paper
  • 15 minutes
Buy Seeds. Set the timer for 3 minutes. In that time, find and tear out 10 pages with large blocks of color from an old magazine -- the "seeds" from which your collage will grow. You're not looking for images -- just areas of color. (Have I mentioned that I get lots of great magazines for free from the Share Table at our public library?) Reset the timer for 12 minutes as a reminder that you want to complete the exercise quickly and not overthink anything.

Buy Fertilizer. Constraint is a natural fertilizer for creativity. Start by setting aside two pages with full-size pictures to use for the sky and the road. Stack the rest of the pages. Holding the stack so you can only see the top sheet, cut off the top third of all the pages. You'll only use the tops in the collage.

Plow. Use the two pages you set aside earlier to "plow" the white paper, dividing to represent your farm. Cut one page to represent the sky (it doesn't have to be blue) and position it near the top of the page to establish a horizon line. From the other page, cut a long, skinny triangle to represent a road that disappears into the distance. Glue these two elements to the white paper.

Plant. Using the tops of the pages you cut off earlier, plant "fields" to line the road on both sides. Glue these elements to the white paper. A dab will do.

Mortgage. Build a house at the end of the road, using scraps of paper left over from planting your fields. Glue this in place.

Established 2010. Give this composition a name. You don't have to put up a mailbox or sign with the name of this homestead, but complete the exercise by giving the piece a title.

Glean. There's nothing more uncertain than farming, unless maybe it's collage. Because this is a creativity warm-up exercise, you work quickly and with no expectation that the end result will become anything more than a good feeling. But then again, you may be able to harvest something from this exercise to use in a project. I scanned my collage, cropped it, used imaging software to drop color into the white areas, made a few more adjustments, and printed the image to inkjet silk. I'm calling this piece "Not In Kansas," because of a dark column that appeared in the sky. It will look more like a twister after I embroider, bead and quilt the piece.

Is there a creativity exercise that blows you away? 


Anonymous said...

...and may we see it too after you embroider, bead and quilt it?!

Donna Kallner... said...

Will do. Thanks for reading!