Collages are quite fun to do. This is my collage “The Fountain”, made with handmade papers on a rigid canvas board. The word “collage” is taken from the French verb caller, which means to paste or to glue. Collage today is the gluing of paper-to-paper, board-to-board, or of any of several materials to others.
Collage is different from other art mediums, because collage does not dictate a particular method in creating it. The artist can choose any materials desired for a collage; one’s own imagination rules the roost. Because the materials are never the same for any two artists, each collage is unique. The first question that should concern an artist when creating a collage is “How long do you want your collage to last?” Your answer determines what you will do next.
The long lasting quality of each collage depends first upon the support. The support, or “ground” in collage, is the surface upon which a design is placed. The possibilities are endless: cardboard, Bristol board, tag board, poster board, mat board, illustration board, watercolor or rag boards, graphic paper, canvas board, construction paper, and the list goes on. But if you want your collage to last, the ground you choose is vitally important. The foundation should be strong to last a long time.
The materials used for the collage are also part of the equation of long lasting durability. Compare an elementary school child’s collage of paste and paper on a sheet of construction paper to a college art student’s collage glued with matte medium and handmade papers on a canvas board. Sadly, the elementary student’s artwork might not even make it home safely from school, much to the chagrin of the artist, even if held in one’s hands. The outside elements can destroy the cherished artwork despite the best efforts.
Collage is an excellent analogy of life, which offers each person a choice of building either on a strong foundation or a weak foundation. The Bible teaches about the two kinds of foundations.
For a strong foundation, Jesus said, “Whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” 1
For a weak foundation, Jesus said,” Every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” 1
Upon the foundation of our choosing, we begin to build. As in collage, the materials used are vitally important, because of the Bible’s warning about each life’s work going through the test of fire.2 Are our materials combustible or incombustible? Fire tests, tests that destroy or toughen one’s spirit, are present in every day existence. There exist fire tests of life-threatening conditions: diseases, weather-related catastrophes like flood and drought, famine, wild beasts, and war. It often appears that life has no rest: outside are troubles and inside, fears.3
The good news is that any person who builds upon the strong foundation, no matter what happens in life, their house, or in other words, their being, will not fall. We have God’s word for it. He never lies. His word is truth forever.
Will the fire test of time prove our wisdom or our foolhardiness? Will we be like the wise man or the foolish man? It’s our choice. On what foundation will you make your life’s collage? Your decision determines the answer to the question presented, “How long do you want your collage to last?”
1 Matthew 7: 24-27
2 I Corinthians 3: 11-13
3 II Corinthians 7: 5