Creative Jump Start


Notes from Babs Ludwig demo at Sunset River Marketplace


When I am stymied on a writing project, I go and do something else–chores (ugh!) and I try to do something else creative. Photos. Cooking.  Drawing (not so much since I am not too good). Preparing a performance piece. Making puppets for a performance. Taking a walk. Working on a different project, even if it is also writing. Reading a book for a while.

All of these things jump start the mind.

Today I got to visit with a local artist who is specializing in collage at this moment in her varied career. Babs Ludwig. She is a wonderful person as well as an incredibly talented artist so it was really a privilege to learn from her. Can you believe I did not have my notebook with me??? I didn’t, so I took notes on the backs of two business cards and a prayer note from the Church’s Wednesday prayer group.


In no particular order, here is some of what she said that I tried to record:


I told her that to me, collage was like jazz on paper–she liked that because her husband, Flash, is a musician!


Michael’s, she said had the best cards to use to make cards–brand begins with an R I think or was it millennium?–fifty cards and envelopes for ten(less on sale) AC Moore brand, good cards but lousy envelopes. She said that AC Moore has the best cards to use with photos–both types are acid free paper. They are really expensive, but again, if you get them on sale…..


Babs on technique–“When using colored paper for collage, make your own. Put medium on paper, color, and then cover with medium again. Using coffee filters, apply the dyes and then spray with medium or brush with medium.” (she said art stores know what “medium” is.) She applied the Elmer’s to bits of paper with a brush when she affixed them.. Spray with acrylic to cover at the end.Use a special spray for photos if you use photos in your collage.


Creative notes

Sumi-e book that she read talked about letting the energy flow into you before you begin a project


Shakra colors are interesting her now–deep colors that come from within. She is interested in the third eye.


Be like a five year old when you go about your art–full of confidence and not worrying what others think. Bits of straw and natural leaves (dried) and flowers are great in collage too–straw looks like birch trees.


Sign your art prominently–make it a part of the picture.


She told the story of her granddaughter who when they were putting a cat on the back of a quilt and wanted something more to add, decided on butterflies. She took to looking for a book on butterflies to study them and the granddaughter simply started cutting bits of material to make the 17 butterflies.


“Never let the world guide your art–only your own creative energy.” Babs


“Naming your piece of art is very important”.–Babs


I was also taken by the still lifes she created with shapes of bottles and lines.

She starts cutting with maybe an idea of the colors she likes, –others draw first and then do collage on it. Sometimes she does go back and find her old paintings and make them into collage. She does not use found objects in the collage–too much like craft, less like art


“Art connects your spirit to everything going on in the universe”(Babs)


After the seminar, I saw another wonderful person who creates both full size paintings in acrylic and wonderful miniatures on shells–Sue Coley. I wanted to purchase one of the shells but she had affixed it to a piece of driftwood that I absolutely did not care for, so I had to pass it up–


One of the artists they all knew (Waterway Art Group members who were there) developed macular degeneration and could not draw any more–so she switched to abstract art , reasoning that God gave her the degeneration and knew what He was doing so she switched to abstracts to continue to glorify God with her art.”


Many artists frame their work and this seems to be what is advised, but often I do not like the frame and that prevents me from purchasing the art–as in the case of the driftwood which “framed” this art on sand dollar–some of the best miniature paining I have ever seen—Sue has a real gift for recreating sea scenes and using perspective in miniatures to create stunning scenes.


Creative idea I got from the demo:

Good project–send things to a small group of other artists and have them create a collage with it.

(She did this with fifteen people, so she had fifteen objects to include in the collage) I may do this in a seminar next time I give one. (BTW I also liked the idea a seminar person gave me two weeks ago of doing Nursery Rhyme haiku)


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