Playing with Collage

Jeannie Baker

Playing with Collage
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Playing with Collage

Jeannie Baker

A how-to guide to making your own collages, brimful of fascinating hints and tips from a master of the genre.   

Over the course of a 40-year career, Jeannie Baker has perfected the art of collage in the creation of picture-book classics such as Where the Forest Meets the Sea and Window, a Boston Globe-Horn Honour Book. Her stunning pieces, devised by assembling all sorts of different textures, are known all around the globe. Whether it’s dried flowers or tiny shells, spaghetti or postage stamps, she uses the world around her to make work that is astonishingly beautiful and deeply creative. And she focuses on a range of important issues including the environment, land degradation, family, society and sustainability. In Playing with Collage, she shares her secrets at last - and encourages her readers to get creative.

Within each of this book’s four main sections, Jeannie presents an abstract collage of her own and offers suggestions and starting points for beginners. There are no right or wrong answers in this treasure of a book, it’s all about trusting your instincts … and playing!

Review

As a kid, I spent hours poring over every tiny detail in Jeannie Baker’s books. I’d get excited when I recognised a particular piece of material or plant she’d used in a picture, and still, to this day, I’m baffled about how she got the little boy to look invisible in Where the Forest Meets the Sea. I even clumsily tried to recreate her style in my Grade 8 art class. I really wish I’d had this book back then.

Playing with Collage is a perfect book for any Jeannie Baker fan of any age, though it is skewed towards the young. Baker breaks down making collages into simple steps; she gives practical tips and advice to help your own work take shape and also helps you look closely and notice things about the materials around you and in front of you. I really love how simple she has kept her examples – they aren’t finished, intimidating masterpieces, but instead look completely achievable. This is an excellent and very simple breakdown of Jeannie Baker’s process and I highly recommend it for any of her fans and any budding artists out there aged 5+.


Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

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