Monday, January 25, 2016

Painting with paper

Late last year, a friend sent me a link to a paper artist that she thought I might like:

I watched this video and (as always) marveled at the patience some people have. That's a quality that is clearly missing in me. One of my challenges as a creative person has always been slowing down and planning and thinking through a project. I tend to just attack.

(Years ago, I watched an inspiring Home and Garden television show about a house renovation. By the end of the show, I had taken a hammer and ripped out a basement window that had some rot around the window sill. Once the whole thing was out, I realized that I didn't have the right tools - or any knowledge - to build a new sill and had to call in a carpenter to finish the job.)

After I watched this video, I was sitting in my studio and thinking about painting with paper when my eyes drifted over to some tiny little boxes on my shelves, left over from years of a teaching a course on making dollhouse miniatures. Since I can never throw anything away, I recently added them to the shelf in my studio that holds various things I want to recycle. (I usually don't think of an idea and then make it. I try to figure out how to recycle something and a new item grows from the materials I want to use.) My first idea was to make a tooth fairy box and add some of my plantable paper confetti to the little vessel. It was a decent enough idea but not stunning.

But after watching the video — and since I was simultaneously trying to come up with ideas for Christmas ornaments — I thought I might try "painting with paper" to make a little scene inside the box that would make a sweet ornament. This photo was at the beginning of the project:

The ornament ended up selling and I forgot to take a picture of the end product but I was happy with the technique, the ability to use scraps of paper in a creative way and I liked painting with paper. Then I started playing around with ideas of things in the box and made this ornament of a baby swaddled and curled up inside:

I have many more of these boxes that I want to experiment with. I am so happy to have found such an inspiring video that was such a valuable jumping-off point for creativity. Makes me think of one of my favorites quotes:

"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become" -The Lorax

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