Symbolism Using Collage and Overlay

collage george bike


journal entry:

Mixed media and collage art have long appealed to me. Most of the examples I see on the Internet and other places are on the artistic side rather than designed to be personal. I have chosen the path of the personal by creating familiar, personal, meaningful and symbolic combinations. I will use the collage above as an example.

One picture can tell a whole story. It can provide insights and clues into the past, present, future. George represents his own young generation as symbolized by his helmet and improved handle bars and casual t-shirt. Layered over him is a representative of the previous generation  . . . or, his father’s generation as symbolized by the older-style bike, clothing and the absence of a helmet. Wait. I see something else. A third generation. The generation that never owned a bike or wore a helmet or a t-shirt as symbolized by the man with the mustache and the hat . . .  riding just as fast as the boys on bikes but on his horse. Do you think that the horse can go places that the bikes can’t ?

Remember the questions:    What do you see?  What does it mean?

Some of the collages I have included here and in other posts are detailed and just a little complicated. They likely have meaning to the person in the collage or maybe just to me. If a person doesn’t look closely it is possible to miss the entire point.

Most of these collage overlays purposely have spiritual messages.



To some I have added words, phrases or names.

Tally is tall and steady, kind and grounded.

He is like the shadow in the background.

But, to look at this overlay another way, the qualities I find in him will serve him well in life should the shadow in the background turn out to be unfriendly or to present itself as an obstacle.

Two questions might be asked when viewing personal collage such as these:

What Do You See ?

What Does it Mean To You ?




A Princess then . . . and a Princess now.

Some day a Queen.

That is what this overlay reminds me. Is Quincy saying good-bye before coming to earth?  Is she being welcomed home after her life on earth?

What else comes to mind when viewing this collage overlay?

She is a Child of God and the Daughter of a King.


Ahhhhh. The wonderful illustration of Allen Say.

What better overlay than a big, orange eye, competing with a garden-fresh tomato. Holden is always coming up with something delightful and hilarious. If you don’t look closely, you will be hypnotized by the eye and miss what is behind it.

Boise Visit 2014


Always wondering, thinking, supposing, questioning, explaining, creating, smiling, reading.

She knows where she came from and where she is going.

She is just trying to get a glimpse.

Perhaps she is hoping that the door will be inadvertently left open for a moment.


Meet the Queen of Flair!

Her wonderful dress is made up of a dozen scarves. Who would have thought of that except Lydia ?

She is confident and accomplished.

Her strong and colorful spirit jumps right off the page.

collage tally fairies

Look carefully. What do you see? What can it mean?

I see many things. They are clues.

Above are just a few collage-overlays with more to come.


( I suggest a good reading of the poem GOBLIN FEET by J.R.R. Tolkien )

It comes to mind when I study the last collage on this post.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top