Collage in Process

Hello! I wanted to share with you some “collage in process”!

The piece in this post is a mixed media collage piece that I did for Life Book 2015. The assignment was to create a “Beacon of Light”. You could follow the lesson “to the T” or stray a bit and do your own thing… I strayed a bit! Quite a bit!!! (insert smiling grin here)

So what does “beacon of light” even mean? Well, to me it’s what gives you hope and peace and comfort. It’s light and life and beauty. It’s what you look to when you need strength and power and love. For me, this beacon is Jesus. So I created a piece full of symbolism based on the Bible passage in Malachi 4:3 which says “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” Isn’t that such beautiful imagery!!! I hope I captured it well enough that when you look upon the piece you will get a feel for this passage… In a very abstracted, modern kind of way 🙂

For my background, I used watercolor crayons as my first layer of color.


After brushing water onto the scribbled watercolor crayon, I added some high flow fluid acrylic and blew it around the surface with a straw.


The thought occurred to me to actually use pages from the Bible to collage onto the piece. At first, that thought seemed really crazy. I mean, you can’t tear up a holy book, right? But after pondering it (and asking God if He were cool with it… I felt in my heart His answer was yes), I decided to use pages from my old childhood Bible. Actually, when I took it off the shelf, whole sections of it fell out! I took it as a definite sign that God really was cool with my plan 🙂 So I used pages from Malachi for this first layer of collage.


I added more decorative paper to the collage.


Next I took my small brayer and added a thin layer of white gesso over the entire surface. This was a new technique for me and I absolutely love it! I will use it again and again in my future work! I just love the mysterious effect it creates!


Next came stamping. I stamped on top of the gesso layer using a StazOn ink pad. I carved all the stamps myself using my doodles and drawings for the stamp designs.


Then I added a few more collaged paper elements and darkened the edges with some ink markers and smudged it around to create a nice blended effect.


Then it was time to create my “beacon”. I love cutting up paper! And paper cut-outs is something I use often in my artwork. So I let my inner kindergartener take over (along with the spirit of Matisse) and I cut out a sunshine and wings and a crown and eyes and brought my paper “beacon” to life!


Here is my completed beacon of light! I added details like the little flowers and doodle work using Posca paint pens and added some border details with stamps. I love all the depth and pop and meaning this piece has.


I hope you will give some of these techniques a try in your own artwork.

Happy collaging!


About Rachel Fontenot Crawford

Hi y'all! I'm Rachel Fontenot Crawford, an artist, poet and surface designer who is passionate about color and pattern, poetry, the great outdoors and art history. I also love to crochet and knit, scrapbook and make handmade cards. All of which you will find on this blog! My artwork and patterns are happy, peaceful and full of color as are all the things my happy hands find to create. I'm a native of the colorful and eclectic city of New Orleans where I currently live with my wonderful hubby of 20+ years marriage. Welcome!
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