Lately, I've been exploring paper making.
This week, I had the good fortune to spend some time with Shelly DeChantal, a friend I knew from my days as a fiber artist. Both of us have morphed into mixed media over the years and while I'm exploring collage right now, Shelly has been exploring paper making and generously offered to share her knowledge and techniques.
Making paper is a laborious and time-consuming endeavor. But in the end, you are making something that is totally unique to you and something no machine can replicate. It is valuable in and of itself. It also satisfies my reason for making art — it's all about the process and not about the outcome.
We worked with cotton fibers (something new to me since I've been working with mulberry papers) and here are the two sheets of paper I made with Shelly's help. She shared so much with me that I left her studio with my head exploding. I learned about the history of paper making, how to dye the fibers, and how to emboss the surface.
I encourage you to visit her website and see her art. I love her work!
The first layer on this page is a black Stabilo pencil. I love these pencils since they activate with water and make dense, black marks. I added a little splash of color to provide a focal point.
My substrate is some paper gifted to me by an artist. It is paper that is used in print-making so I have never used it before but I'm loving the thickness and it stands up well for mixed media work. However, it doesn't lie flat after applying media to the surface.
A friend suggested painting some gesso on the back to help flatten it but today, the pages were still wonky so I'm putting them under some bricks to see if that will help.
I don't really mind that they are not flat so whatever happens, happens.
I have decided to practice creating art using collage.
Over the last year, I have been making papers using a variety of media, substrates, and
techniques so I have a lot to choose from. I also have a of of pens, pencils, markers, and stencils to add layers and color.
The trick is how to combine all these things to make an interesting composition.
Over the next few months, I will be posting my experiments — some wonderful, some not so wonderful. But I am really enjoying the process!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!