Sunday, October 18, 2020


How many of us are intimidated by collage? Do you ask yourself "where do I start, what pieces go together, when do I stop, or how much is too much?" That is certainly the case for me, but it just seems to come naturally for others. One such person is Cheri Aldrich. For those of you who regularly attend the Newport Paper and Book Art Festival (NPBAF) you must know Cheri. She is a resident of Newport and has been involved with the festival in every capacity as one of the organizers, as an instructor, and as an attendee. Ever since the Coronavirus invaded our country and we have been asked to shelter at home, Cheri decided to challenge herself doing daily collages. Here is her explanation of how she got started and some of her methods.

This is the cover of Cheri's journal. It is a gelli
 plate brayer clean-off sheet with a gelli printed
 feather and a stencil of a bird.

"I am fully embracing retirement and am feeling like a kid in a candy shop! One of my new normals is joining online private art groups. Two of my favorites are Collage Artists Challenge and Crystal Marie: Canary Rising. After being on those two sites for awhile, I decided to make a collage journal just for me and to try and expand the types of collage techniques I would experiment with. I bought a standard Mixed Media journal, 7 1/2" x 10" and got started. I added a cover and did my first collage on that. That left 52 more pages for collages and I left the back page open to eventually write about the process. Those of you who know me are used to me selling everything I make, so planning on doing something just for me was a new experience and I found myself using those special papers we always save and it was liberating!

I pretty much made one collage a day, or if I was really motivated, maybe a second or third. I had a 46 year stash of supplies, plus I have been carving new stamps lately, so I had lots of collage fodder! Each piece took from 30 minutes up to maybe two hours at the most. Crystal Marie Neubauer had our group doing five minute collages as a warm-up exercise that gets you out of your head and allows your intuitive side free reign. This exercise helped me tremendously and I highly recommend it. If you join her group, there is a 'units' tab where you can go to see a list of videos labeled Sweet September. Crystal talked about making art, choosing papers, life stories, and then we all made a five minute collage together at the end of the session. These were live episodes, but are now available to look at for free. The sharing on both of the sites was almost like being in a class, which we all know did not happen this year. This has made being isolated not a problem for me, and I am grateful to be so immersed in my studio and creating just for the fun of it! I'm planning on making a video of me turning the pages of my collage book, so if you're a Facebook friend, it will be there. If not, I hope to be able to email it to you individually. I literally live to make art and make art to live!"

Here are more examples from Cheri's collage journal.

Landscape: torn paper with a tree punch.

Used painted tissue papers, Cheri's carved
ocean stamp, and cut-out gelli printed feather.

Various gelli printed mark making techniques 
on deli and tissue paper. The "e" is made from
puffy paint applied to a piece of plastic, dried,
and then peeled off and glued on.

Gelli prints and saved postage stamps

Cheri's carved crow and pebble stamps,
a strip of asemic (wordless, open writing)
writing done on a gelli plate. (Cheri has a
 short video of this process that she can share.)

A map segment, miscellaneous papers,
mark making from a section of a textured 
piece of a rubber ball and a frog punch.

Embellished eco print with pattern markings
and Cheri's carved inchie stamps.

Many thanks to Cheri for sharing her collage journal experience with us.

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