Collage with Skins

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

Earlier this week I took a class with Chris Cozen, a working artist for Golden Paints. The class was on making “skins” with the various mediums that Golden makes, and running them through an inkjet printer, adding photos and textures to create collage materials. Chris made many, many of these skins on foil, digital grounds, fiber paste and likely most of the other mediums that Golden makes. She gave us each three blanks to print at home, and three more to use in our collages.

Some of the skins were clear with bits of paint in them, some were gorgeous seascapes printed on foil, many were photos printed on various mediums that were opaque. We were asked to bring canvas boards to collage on, 11 x 14, and Chris provided paint, mediums, papers galore, every single thing a person could want to create a collage with ripped up parts of these skins.

I did three canvas. All three remind me of maps of course, that is my subject, my artistic leaning. There are stories that arrive in my head as these compositions unfold.


This one is a seaside resort, with an off shore island. It is part Venetian and very romantic. The skin is the blue water, which is printed on foil. Most of the papers I brought with me, and they were gelli plate prints or paste papers. On the top left is a skin that Chris made, a print of a Chihuly glass piece. Coincidentally there is a Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens right now.


This is a ship of glorious glasswork.


This is a tribute to Edward Abbey. I drove for days through the southwestern desert, thinking about how much more there is to it than most people know.

In my case it was love at first sight. This desert, all deserts, any desert.
 No matter where my head and feet may go, my heart and my entrails
 stay behind, here on the clean, true, comfortable rock, under the black
 sun of God’s forsaken country.

Edward Abbey, The Journey Home


This last one went on for a very long time. It did not want an easy solution. I think it works now, after input from several people around me. The skin is the blue part to the right, which is transparent and sits directly on the white canvas. It is not common for me to use commercial papers, but this striped one works well here I think. 

Chris works for Golden Paints, which I will be doing too, after my teacher training next month in London. Whoopie! The two of us may be hitting the road together next fall, so come on back and check my calendar to see the updates. In the meantime, track her down and take a class!


  1. How lucky you were to take a live class from Chris. I have taken many classes from her but online only. Even those classes are fantastic. Aren’t skins fabulous? I am addicted to making them.

  2. absolutely love these — today I am trying to make acrylic skins using page protector, tulip paint and soft gel — I saw it on jane davies blog — so far the paint is not dry so will wait till tomorrow hopefully to put gel layer on top —

  3. Jill, it was too much fun having you amongst the 20 people in class. You were hiding in plain sight all along. I love the pieces you did and enjoyed sharing this process with you! Thanks for coming to play with me.

  4. I can only say that I am insanely jealous and adore the tribute to Edward Abbey perhaps just a tad more than the others . . . I’d be happy to walk over hot coals for another class . . . well, maybe cold wet sand.

  5. How cool Jill – I want to know this technique – hope you’ll be in Portland to teach it one day soon. Have a blast in London!

    • Will be there in March, maybe I can sneak some of this in…

  6. So nice that you occasionally get to take someone else’s class. I have never heard of this “skins” technique before but your results are beautiful. I am still trying to figure out the best ways to incorporate digital imaging into my real-live-paper work. I think I’d like to check this out sometime. Beautiful collages!

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