There are some artists, such as Gerald Brommer, Jacki Long, and Joan McKasson, who make collage look fun and easy. And they get fantastic results and great texture with collage.
Now I am a bit of a neatness freak. I keep my work space uncluttered, I always put out fresh paint, and I keep my palette clean. Nevertheless, collage calls to me.
Every time I have tried collage, using matte medium or diluted white glue to apply colored tissue or painted papers to the surface of a painting, I have found it to be disturbingly messy. My workspace ends up looking like an explosion in a confetti factory, I have sticky stuff all over my hands and arms, and I invariably ruin at least one article of clothing, even when I wear an apron.
In frustration, I tried to figure out a neat, clean way to do collage. I ended up using a glue stick to apply cut up pieces of old watercolor paintings to a piece of mat board. Then I tried wadding up wet Masa paper to create texture, painting it, tearing it up, and using the glue stick to apply it to watercolor paper. These two methods seem to have potential for me.
Here are two paintings, self-portraits, that were made from cut up pieces of old paintings applied with a glue stick:
Here is a mixed media painting with some wrinkled, painted Masa paper applied to watercolor paper with a glue stick:
Here is an earlier painting done by collaging Chinese papers with matte medium in the usual way. The collage is subtle and adds texture to the greenery of the plants. I made a terrible mess, but the painting was a success and sold for $450!
"California, Here I Come"