Like many people have been doing since the pandemic started, I have appreciated the availability of online courses to help keep my creative juices flowing. I now own enough online courses to review at my leisure for longer than I will be on this planet! Do I have a problem? LOL, it’s like having enough fabric or paint or whatever medium you work with. We can never have enough or exactly what we are looking for.

My latest online course called Squiggle, Line and Dot was with Susan Purney Mark. She’s a West Coast Canadian living on Pender Island, BC. She has a nice blog ( and website ( I’ve been interested in learning techniques to make collage fodder (I had to google the word fodder to make sure it was applicable  in this context and did find this definition amongst the “feed for livestock” definitions…Raw material, as for artistic creation.)

Susan’s class uses mostly black paint on white fabric so far.

This was my most favorite exercise. Taping a paint brush to a long stick and painting. I was listening to music and got some creative tingles doing this.

This was using a wider brush. I am attracted to the marks where there is not much paint on the brush.

I got a little bored with the black and white although I see potential in the pieces I have made so far. I appreciate how Susan incorporates this fodder into her quilts and want to try it myself. I’ll be getting back to her online class soon.

But I decided to go back to a color class from Jane Dunnewold that I had begun earlier in 2021. Time to work on complimentary color scales.

Oooohhhh that was fun and so magical. I had done some of these studies while taking my design course from Gail Harker, but it was fun to do them again.

Jane has her own set of ProChem paints that are “pure” colors so she likes you to mix your own secondary and tertiary colors and she has color cards so you can match your mixtures to them. It’s challenging to know how much paint to put out and I threw away the leftovers from my first two color runs and felt kind of guilty about doing that. That’s when I decided to use the leftovers on fabric and use those pieces for future collage work using some of the mark making techniques learned in Susan Purney Mark’s class as well as other teachers I’ve taken classes from.

These are the tools I used to make my marks. I really like the marks made with the green squeegee type device.

Most of the color combinations are vastly different from what I normally work with in my art quilts. But they are going to be fun to use as collage fodder. Most importantly I had FUN playing with paints. Life is good!

Now to get down to quilt making versus painting and use some of this stuff up!

Best wishes to all for a wonderful, creative 2022!!

Tesi Vaara

9 thoughts on “COLLAGE FODDER

  1. I love your mark making! I especially like the ones that look almost plaid. Glad you found a way to use your excess paint, that’s what I do too. I’m looking forward to seeing how you use the fabric. Happy New Year!

  2. I too look forward to seeing what you make from this fodder. Any chance of seeing some of your art quilts – never having done any myself I’m not able to see how you would use the fodder you have created and would really like to see what you do. Do you have a website perhaps?
    Thanks for the links to the workshops you have given us.

    1. No website. If you search my name on this blog I have a couple of posts about my “tile” quilts but the fodder I am making for future quilts will probably be used differently since the patterns are so much bigger than the size of my tiles. I am considering adding another layer or two of paint though so maybe some can still be cut up smaller and still have interest enough for tile sizes. Scarily, you can google me as well and see some other blogs on Create Whimsy that show some of my art quilts. The quilts made for my “Chosen One” series use quite a few tiles made using acrylic paint on a gelli plate.
      Thanks for your comments!

  3. What a insightful and motivating post. Full of interesting thoughts and super resources. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us all.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Happy to be motivating! It is such a gift to have time and resources to be creative and I get much inspiration from other creative people so hope to pass that energy on to others.

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