Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected
by Claudine Hellmuth

In response to the comments I've received both on my blog post and by e-mails, I've written this update to my previous post. I hope you find this helpful.


I'm sure you can purchase this from major book stores, but I purchased my book for under $7.00, including shipping, from Amazon.com.


It seems there are many of you out there--like me--who are struggling to find your style. There should be a book totally dedicated to this subject! Maybe there already is one, and I just haven't found it.

Claudine states, "There are many ways that artists might find their way to their own approach." She then shares her approach, which is similar to mine and may be similar to many of yours.

Claudine continues saying, "You'll need to dig deep and discover what it is that you really enjoy about creating art." I think this may be a good place to begin your self-discovery journey.

Well, what does it mean to "dig deep and discover what it is that you really enjoy about creating art"? That's a great question with many different answers.

To me, it means to figure out what resonates with you. What color or colors do you favor? I like blues, purples, and greens. According to the color wheel, that means I prefer cool colors, right?

Well, I also like orange and yellow--warm colors--and I use ivory or beige and white in almost all of my paintings.

Over time, I've learned that I intuitively choose either cool colors or warm colors. If my palette is mainly cool colors, I'll add a bit of burnt sienna (warm color) to make the piece sing. If my palete is mainly warm colors, I'll add a bit of blue or purple (cool colors) to make it pop. I believe that opposites, carefully applied, make a piece visually appealing.


I don't know. I believe the answer to this question is totally subjective. If you feel it will help you in your journey, go for it. If you feel life's experiences have given you the education you need, go for it, too.

I am boldly going to state that having an art degree or an understanding of color theory helps, but it's not necessary to creating art. I imagine this statement may stimulate a debate. As a student of art for over half a century, and as a student actively pursuing an art degree, I feel confident in saying that art education enhances one's ability to create, but much of our creativity is intuitive.

Most of us already know what we like--colors, shapes, styles, etc. If you don't, take the time to write down what you like in your journal as a part of learning who you are as an artist.

Do you like sharp forms such as triangles, squares or rectangles? If so, these shapes may be the base of your lettering style, and your drawing, painting and sketching styles.

If you prefer curved forms such as circles and ovals, these shapes may appear in your artwork in the form of squiggles and flourishes. If so, you may enjoy whimsical and Victorian images.

These are just some ideas to consider. What has helped me the most in working towards my personal style is writing in my journal, studying artworks by artists who work in all styles and media, and creating something each day, large or small works, including sketches or doodles.

Here's a short list of what I wrote in my journal pertaining to types of artworks I enjoy:

Victorian, curves, blue, white, burnt sienna, Anne of Green Gables, Christmas, Harry Potter, wings, birds, music, piano, guitar, violin, layers, hearts, flying, acceptance, harmony, brushes, pencils, pens, calligraphy, journaling, scissors, torn edges, fabric paper, composition books, photography, Photoshop, travel, ocean, rainbows, flowers, friendships . . . .

You get the idea? Now it's your turn.

By sharing, maybe we can write a book about developing your personal style one question and one answer at a time. Enjoy,


Diana Evans said...

Wonderful post Fannie...Claudine is a wonderful collage artist!!!

Thanks for posting this...I may have to check out her book...


Janet said...

I have this book but must admit I haven't read it! I've been searching for my own style and keep getting sidetracked with some new style or technique I see online.

marianne said...

Happy New Year Fannie!
it has been a pleasure visiting your inspirational blog!
Hope to see you a lot next year!
hug >M<

Jacq said...

What a good post. Finding ones style can be difficlut. It is one of those things that I "over think" about. Have a wonderful New Year. It will be fun to see where it leads us.

Fannie said...

Hi, Diana. I'm enjoying her book and recently found her websites. Nice to see you.

Hi, Janet. I believe getting sidetracked is a part of the process of finding your style. Continue searching and you'll find bits and pieces that define your style. Good for you!

Marianne, Happy New Year to you, too!

Enjoy the journey of finding your style, Jacq. I think you're almost there. Love your artwork. Yes, let's have fun in 2009!

laughingwolf said...

happy new year to you and yours, m'dear fannie :D

Fannie said...

Happy New Year to you and yours, LW!

claudine hellmuth said...

thanks for the book review! :)