365 Collage—The Project

Even before I had finished Project Every Day —where I wore only clothing I had made and documented both the process and the clothes—I knew that I wanted to continue making daily art of some sort, but what? I also knew that it would not involve me posting image of myself. Nope. Not doing that again.

I have always been intrigued by collage. It is a mystery to me, and I wanted to learn how to do it. Unlike with making garments, I have no history.

Still the idea would not leave my head.

Then I got super sick. This resulted in dozens of cough drop wrappers. DOZENS.

I started by spelling out the word cough.

I did this more as a way of demonstrating my experience than as actual art, but then I thought—What if I just see how far I can push these coffee drop wrappers?

What if I post these images on Instagram?

After a few days, I was running out of cough drop wrappers, but I really wanted to keep going.

I realized that I could build upon my collage narrative by adding one new bit of media everyday. So I added some green. It looks like wallpaper!

I have always been fascinated by the idea of sampling in music, and I have done it myself in essays. Why not do it in collage? Here is a piece by  Jonathan Lasker .

Bits of his work from an Artforum magazine became the next building blocks in my work. It is kind of like using paper versions of art as fabric.

I am mildly concerned that some of these artists might think I shouldn’t being this. I think I am using magazine images of their work for artistic and educational purposes—I am just teaching myself how to collage. But they might think I am stealing. It is NOT their real work—it is magazine pages of their work with gallery lettering all over it. We will see how that all goes down. 

As the days go by, I use up the green so it disappears from the collage work. I cough some more so I get more wrappers.

One collage rolls into the next one. And I am always excited to see what is going to happen next.

Here I added some random columns from an advertisement. I wasn’t properly documenting when I did this, so I don’t have the original in my files. I hadn’t figured that out yet.

Now, I am documenting each bit I add in a separate file on my computer.

Here is James Lee Byars work “Untitled” from 1959.
James Lee Byars Untitled 1959 

And here is the collage.

Maria Shell 365 Collage #8

Next, I used a piece by Enrico David to create more bits of fabric. 


And then I introduced some patterned paper I had made while listening to a lecture. It was sanctioned doodling They even gave me the paper and markers. Now it has been rolled into the mix.


At some point, I decided I wanted the collages in a book. So I did that. I am a bit on the fence about it. I like the book, but I would also like to see these displayed as independent pieces going around a room all at eye level. Or clustered.

thumb_IMG_6391_1024I certainly haven’t figure out all the rules yet, but I am getting there.

Maria Shell 365 Collage #91. I will work with found paper materials

2. I will post a collage a day on Instagram. If you want to follow along you can by going here < https://www.instagram.com/talesofastitcher/> Sometimes I will get behind (like now), but I will post 365 of these things.

3. Every collage can have one new bit of media and as much of the older elements as there is available.

4. When an element is used up it disappears from my collage work unless I cough some more or find duplicate materials.

5. I can add watercolors and pens or pencils to the work.

5. The project is called 365 Collage.

6. I may or may not keep these images in a book.

7. I will not take myself too seriously—I am learning!

Maria Shell 365 Collage #10Is anyone else out there doing a daily project? Do you like it? Have you been sharing on social media?

This entry was published on June 12, 2017 at 5:34 PM. It’s filed under News And Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

15 thoughts on “365 Collage—The Project

  1. Emily on said:

    Here is a link to another blog I follow, I find these daily artist challenges really interesting and intriguing:)

  2. I love the idea of daily challenges, but alas find my life much too busy to ever stick to one for more than a few days. Soon though…. I would like to make a creative mini quilt a day, or something along those lines. I find the work you have been doing intriguing.

    • Janet- I find that if I mess up, I just start again. There are times when my life is balanced, and I always get it done, and then there are times it is not. It is worth it–you learn ALOT by making a daily commitment to something, whether it is yoga or art. I hope you will keep trying.

  3. What a fun new project you’ve chosen. I love seeing how you explore the same material from different angles. I’m on my second year of daily stitching. Last year was small fabric collages, this year more hand stitched and mark making based, but each marks the changing of the seasons. I’m not good with daily posting, so they appear on my blog in batches. I love doing a small daily project because if I get to nothing else, I still have a little feeling of accomplishment each day.
    Just finished reading The Nix on your recommendation. One of my favorite books in a long time–thanks!

    • I love your daily stitching! I know what you mean about daily postings– it is hard to do. I get behind on a regular basis. I loved the Nix and I heard that they are going to make movie. Good to hear from you!

  4. Ricola cough drop wrapper art – brilliant! What a fun way to use the remains of a bad cold! Taking creativity to a whole new level 🙂

  5. Thank you Tierney! I know it is a weird start to the project, but it worked!

  6. I like the start of your project! I am doing a non-public 365 project this year, taking a daily [face only] selfie. I hate having my picture taken so I’m trying to get over that.

    • I know what you mean. Last year’s project really made me getting over my issues with being in front of the camera. It is a great way to get over yourself I think. I wish you luck with your project!

  7. gladiporsche on said:

    Hi Maria. I’m a first time responder though I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for some time. Though I’m a traditional quilter, I LOVE your work and would love to take a class with you some day. I just challenged myself, starting June 1, to write a daily haiku – a type of Japanese poem with 3 lines and 17 syllables and am liking it very much. It’s my first experience of a “daily” creative project. What’s even better is that I challenged my adult son, who lives far away and whom I don’t get to see much, to write a daily haiku and he accepted and we are texting our creations to each other every day. I love this way of connecting with my son and getting to know him better. Maybe some time in the future I will try a daily textile project, but right now I have too much else on my plate! I look forward to following your journey. Gladi Porsche

    • Gladi- Thank you for responding! I almost selected haiku for my daily project too. I know people who have done it, and they say you start thinking in haiku. What a wonderful way to connect with your son on a daily basis. I am a traditional quilter too! I love traditional quilts and how rich they are in our history.

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