Sunday, September 02, 2012

"September Dusk" 8x8 cut paper

I like to cut paper.   Let me elaborate.  I like to cut paper with scissors to make interesting shapes and forms without drawing them first.  I use it in my math classes to demonstrate symmetry to my students.  I cut paper shapes iconic of certain holidays that our church youth group then uses to make one-of-a-kind note cards which they sell to fund their mission trips. I like to cut paper.  

 "September Dusk" image stretched to square proportions
So, when North River Arts Society kicked off this year's Outside the Box fundraiser, inviting artists and non-artists alike to create an 8" x 8" work, different from their norm, I decided to paint with paper.  

I chose one of my favorite paintings of our local river and stretched its image into a square for the proportions.  I bought a number of sheets of patterned paper, no solids,  considering only the colors and values, not the patterns, then proceeded to cut shapes, and to use them like paint.  It was very interesting to decide how to layer up, how to soften edges, how to build in atmospheric perspective and texture.  I used the paper much like I would use paint, blocking in with large shapes, then continually subdividing those shapes.
original "September Dusk" 7 x 5
The result is a "paper painting" filled with paisley, polka dots, peacock feathers,  floral images, toile, and stripes that comprise "September Dusk". When I compare the original oil and the paper version, I'll admit, I am drawn to the oil more than the paper. However, I love the paper painting, the thinking and the process. My goal was not to recreate the original oil painting.  My goal was to create a piece of art that stands on its own, using the oil painting as reference, much like my oil paintings are intended to stand on their own, using life as reference. 

 I'm planning to explore this idea again, and am considering skipping the middle step altogether, bringing my paper, scissors, and Modge Podge outside to paint with paper en plein air. 

As always, interested in your thoughts.  Thanks for looking.


  1. Very nice. And you did step outside the box. Enjoy how you shared your process.

  2. Love these cut paper paintings. I used to do those with the kids when I taught school. Teaches all kinds of things.

  3. VERY cool had me stumped...I love the result! It actually is a delicate painting and that is not the word I usually associate with your nice, bold oils...well done and true to the challenge!

  4. I am happy to report, that my left bid was enough to buy back my own OTB piece. All good, the organization gets the money, and I own a piece of art I love from which I'm going to learn more.