Wednesday, 27 June 2012

True Confessions

I have too much paper. There, I said it. My studio has several deep drawers and boxes stuffed full of interesting scraps - prints of my earlier artwork, book pages, painted book pages, scrapbooking papers that I've only partially used, little things that I've saved 'just because'. Then there are the junk shops books which I've collected because they had pretty illustrations or were in French or Chinese or wonderful gothic-fonted German. And don't get me started on old Ordnance Survey maps because yes, I have piles of those too!

I know I should part with a good chunk of it. There's enough there to last several arty lifetimes. But, like my fabric stash, I find it impossible to decide what I can really live without. And I know I'm not alone: I can almost see many of my fellow mixed media makers nodding in shifty-eyed agreement. There is, you see, so much possibility in these pieces of paper. They talk to each other, gathering together in pleasing combinations within their confined spaces so that when I pull out a seemingly random pile I discover that they are speaking to me too, including me in their conversation. It would feel rude to interrupt.

Occasionally I print copies of older pieces of work in various sizes so that I can reuse them. The tag and the journal page here have details from just such a piece. I like a bit of repetition sometimes.


  1. You are SO right -- I'm one of those paper collectors, too. When to use it? How to use it? What project is worthy of such beautiful paper? (None so far.) Besides owning lots of beautiful store-bought papers and found papers, I also made many gelli plate prints. I often google for ideas -- how to use all this paper! But so far, it's just piling up. I think the problem gets down to this: we collect beautiful papers because they're beautiful. Like collecting art. So using it is very difficult. Ah well! I love your abstract art and enjoy your videos especially. Thanks for making them for us!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, I think you're exactly right, we collect these things for their beauty as well as their potential and, like art, often just to look at. So glad you enjoy the videos. :)