SaskTel Art at Home: Thelma Pepper–Inspired Collage Portrait Activity

Have you ever met a person and wanted to know their life story?

Artists use portraits to depict a person’s appearance but also to tell us something about that individual’s life.

In this tutorial, we’ll make a collage portrait by choosing a person to act as the subject and adding objects and a location that are special to them. 

Artist bio:

Saskatoon-based photographer Thelma Pepper captured portraits of ordinary women she met in Saskatoon care homes. She spent hours talking to them, recording their stories and travelling to their homesteads to photograph the landscapes they called home. Many of these places are familiar sites to those who have spent time in small-town Saskatchewan.

Supply list:

  • Reference photos
  • Tracing paper (or other translucent paper)
  • Colourful paper (construction paper, recycled books, or tissue paper)
  • Sketchbook or scrap paper for brainstorming
  • Drawing supplies (pencil, pens, markers, stencils, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick​

  • Gather supplies
  • Brainstorm your portrait by asking “Who, What, When, Where, Why”
  • Make the collage portrait based on your brainstorm
  • Draw your portrait freehand or trace from reference photos
  • Use your portrait to tell a story about your special person

Learn more:

Thelma Pepper Panel discussion from Remai Modern

Ordinary Women at Remai Modern 

Thelma Pepper: A Life in Pictures in Remai Modern’s Art and Design Store (Author Amy Jo Ehman is donating $1 from every book sold during the exhibition to Remai Modern)


Wednesday 10 AM - 5 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 5 PM
Friday 10 AM - 9 PM
Saturday & Sunday 10 AM-5 PM

Questions? email

102 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon SK S7K 0L3