Tag Archives: art process

Raising the Roof

IMG_2164My summer plan was to stop creating collages for a while, and focus a little more on watercolour painting. Then, this beautiful blue lining from an envelope Jessie received  with a grad card captured my heart. The paper is silky, the geometric patterns simple, the different blues thrill me. The envelope lining is almost perfect – just a slight tear. It beckons me from my work table every time I pass. It wants to be a house. So, I put the watercolours aside and pull out my scissors.

envelope lining - to die for

envelope lining – to die for

envelope lining becomes a house

envelope lining becomes a house

trying different background papers

trying different background papers

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I try the house with the roof on and it doesn’t look right. So I raise the roof a bit…. suddenly in the new space created I can see that a tree wants to grow – a golden tree. I find the perfect gold foil – the wrapper from an expensive chocolate bar.

a tree begins to grow from beautiful and fragile gold foil

a tree begins to grow from beautiful and fragile gold foil

tree is raising the roof

tree is raising the roof

gluing the tree - toothpick and wet glue

gluing the tree – toothpick and wet glue. Slow work…patience, Sue

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green leaves from cigarette papers, turquoise leaves from old wrapping paper

green leaves from cigarette papers, turquoise leaves from old wrapping paper

almost done

almost done

birds fly from the tree

birds fly from the tree

flight

flight

"Raising the Roof" - Paper collage using candy wrappers, envelope lining, cigarette foils and other papers

“Raising the Roof” – Paper collage using candy wrappers, envelope lining, cigarette foils and other papers. 18″ x 24″

 

A few days later, rectangles of the original envelope lining plus a new piece of purple paper from the Paper Umbrella inspire me – this one is about RAIN, I think, and responds to the deluge of rain we got in early July that caused flooding in much of Southeastern Saskatchewan.IMG_2195

 

in the window…this paper is marbled gold in the back and I like how the light picks that up.

in the window…this paper is marbled gold in the back and I like how the light picks that up.

Playing with Plexiglass (and rice paper)

Rice paper Trio on Plexi Glass with Artscape Rice Paperproviding the frosted look (and UV protection)

Rice paper Trio on 8 x 8 Plexi Glass with Artscape Rice Paper providing the frosted look (and UV protection)

Rice paper pair on plexiglass

Rice paper pair on 8 x 8 clear plexiglass

Autumn Jester - rice paper bird
Autumn Jester – rice paper bird (no plexiglass)

Pink and Green Fairy Bird?

Pink and Green Fairy Bird? (no plexiglass)

Simple things amuse simple minds.

Creating rice paper birds fills me with a quiet joy and delight. In a sense they are all the same bird, although they vary slightly in size and shape and are all the colours of the rainbow. Holding a piece of pink rice paper to the sunlight with a piece of green behind it and seeing how it looks in different lights thrills me. It is one thing to glue pieces of translucent paper together on a table; it is an entirely different thing to hold these same pieces of paper up to the window and see how they are completely transformed by light. As I create a rice paper birds, it is akin to having a conversation with light – I cut, I hold up to the light, maybe I glue, maybe I try another shade. For this reason, it takes about 45 minutes, give or take, to create a rice paper bird. I feel as though I could cut and glue and construct these little creatures for a very long time.

Larks at Christie Lake

Larks at Christie Lake

Since I am clearly hooked on creating rice paper birds, I have to ask how to move such birds into the world? While it is true that a handful of people have one or two such birds flying in their windows, I want to create sky-fulls of them. I like putting them together on a window, a branch, a translucent screen  and creating a pattern of movement. Flocks, families, communities of birds winging their way to an imagined sky. This led to “An Exultation of Larks” created last spring. I like seeing how they look in different venues, during different seasons, in the mornings or the afternoons or on the light of a sombre day.

This fall, I have purchased a quantity of plexiglass, cut in a whole variety of sizes as well as some glue that works well with plexi-glass (but has toxic vapours). Above you can see my first two experiments, done on 8 x 8 pieces of plexiglass. I will try sealing them with glue at the edges. (Up until now, I have been using screws.) I prefer to have no frame around the birds as I like the illusion that they can fly off into the sky. However, I also hope to experiment with real glass, circles, and thin copper or silver frames with help from a local stained glass artist.

I am currently working with a long rectangular piece measuring 28″ x 8″ and loving the challenge.