The watercolor journaling courses revived my interest in working on and with paper. I consider paper as fabric, it is fiber after all. I have made art that you would not know wasn’t fabric but is actually paper. I love working with paper. The results are mysterious…people are intrigued, which I like. I began to work on the collages in September. I was thinking about Autumn and decided to use leaves as a motif. I use primarily tissue paper and old book pages. First I apply paint on the tissue papers. They are too thin to keep tidy…thus this is how I work: I use craft tissue which is slightly thicker and a better quality than gift tissue. I spread out several layers of tissue and spray with Ranger Ink Color Wash….I love this stuff! No matter how many colors you spray and mingle…they do not make mud. Great for beginners. The colors I like to use are: Denim, Butterscotch and Eggplant. The papers stick together when wet. I dry the papers with a heat gun and as they dry they separate easily. The paper is stronger once it is dried. I used a 5″ x 7″ piece of watercolor paper for the base of the collage. Some of the base paper was left white and some I added a wash of watercolor in a 4″ x 5″ defined area. The layering process evolves. The papers have beautiful unique qualities that when combined and overlapped create amazing results. It is impossible to detail what happens during this time as I go with it…I don’t think much, rather I enjoy the process. Some progress faster, some fizzle out, but most become truly amazing. After the papers are layered and adhered with acid free glue or adhesive, I place them under weights to dry. The next step is the stitching. The stitching is spontaneous. I stop sewing when I run out of ideas and proceed to sew a different one. Many times I realize what else can be added after sewing others.
This image shows a collage prior to stitching. This particular collage did not have a leaf motif so, I used stamps and gold ink instead. One stamp has fine detail that I purchased and one is larger that I made.
The collage truly came to life after stitching. This image shows the threads still hanging. At some point I started to like the thread hanging revealed on the front. I purposely pulled the bobbin thread to the front, tied a knot and trimmed each thread to a good length. The leaf motif was added to this collage with a piece of paper that was the negative shape of a leaf.
When I finished with 18 pieces. The next step was to show them. The rep at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts where I exhibit my work, was very delighted to see them. He asked me to prepare them right away for December. Cutting mats and mounting takes time, but I completed the work in time and they are now at the gallery. 10″ x 12″ $165 I am very proud of this work. I enjoyed the process immensely so much so that I was motivated to write an outline. I consider collage as playing….allowing the elements to talk and evolve. The materials are simple and the methods are easy. I hope others find this intriguing enough to ask about it and invite me to teach.