Elke's collages seem to have such sparkle, I love the textural look and little ornate accents here and there. She mixes the right amount of collage in her art journaling so that it doesn't look too "scrapbooky," a term I think I just invented. Read on for a tip on how she makes her collages look aged and warm!
San Francisco Bay Area, California
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Mixed media collage with found and gathered bits.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I collect old books, magazines, tissue paper, sheet music and paper at the recycling center. I like to add color with acrylic paints, gel pens and water soluble oil pastels. I've become a big fan of the old pencil!! I use stamps and ink. I like to sew on pieces with my sewing machine. I love rub on type and old postage stamps. I use my photographs. Just learned about packing tape transfers--super fun! And the final magic--walnut oil to make things look aged and warm!
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started making collages about a year ago... I was going through a rough time and a good friend introduced me to art journaling--combining the narrative of my life with images and art. I become hooked instantly, and now I can't stop! It is so freeing to work in a journal and not have the pressure of creating a "piece of art" to hang up. It's where the magic happens.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: Ah, I wish! I work as a physical therapist. The art making is just for me.
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I have taken a handful of figure drawing classes and clay sculpture classes.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Layering! I love being able to see through pieces of the pages--it adds mystery and depth. Sometimes I'll write a poem or a paragraph about something, then cover it with gesso or acrylic and then use baby wipes to wipe some of the paint off. Then collage over with thin tissue paper. Then paint again! Then some tape transfers.
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Anahata Katkin. Juliana Coles. Squeak Carnwath. Frida Kahlo. Sabrina Ward Harrison. Misty Mawn. Erika Kuhn. Liza Corbett.