Paper Arts in the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!

In this new year, I am focusing on how to spend the right amount of time making art every day. Too little, and I feel like I’ve missed out as time whips by. Too much, and I feel burned out and end up skipping other things I really need to do. Here’s what I’m trying right now: in the morning, at breakfast, I no longer look at Facebook or the news. Instead, I spend time with one of my art books getting inspired. Then I go into my studio (which I am trying hard to keep as a phone- and tablet-free area in the morning) and play around with art stuff. Meditate. Journal. I stop at lunch and then spend the afternoon exercising, spinning, reading, cooking. whatever. NOT art. This schedule is definitely a work in progress but it’s going in the right direction.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m really getting into paper arts right now. This week’s projects include folding paper into squares and strips, and dying them with India ink, as well as making more paper cloth to use as a substrate for mixed media work. It’s been fun using things I’ve learned about color in my classes at USC. These two examples of folded paper are each dyed with complementary colors (opposite on the color wheel).

Paper folded and dyed with India Ink

Paper folded and dyed with India Ink

Paper Cloth with Dyed-paper add-ins and alcohol ink drops

Paper Cloth with Dyed-paper add-ins and alcohol ink drops

The great thing about India ink is that once it dries, it’s waterproof, so you can use dyed paper in other wet applications and it won’t bleed. I cut up one of my less favorite dying experiments and added it to one of my new paper cloths pieces, and I like the way it came out. The dots in that one are alcohol ink just dripped on.

In another piece of paper cloth, I added India ink to the glue used to make the paper cloth in order to get color added right up front. I used violet first, then added in some blue to make blue-violet and used that as well for a two-tone look. Then I dripped some yellow alcohol ink to add to the visual interest. I learned something there – the dripper top to that bottle is wider than the one I used for the other piece, so the dots are MUCH bigger and I had less control over the result. But it will be fine as I work more with it after it dries.

Paper cloth with India Ink added to the glue

Paper cloth with India Ink added to the glue and yellow alcohol ink drops

Here’s a secret about me: I’m terrible about keeping track of what I do. Working intuitively is great, but if I don’t write it down or take pictures it’s really frustrating later when I try to remember how I did something. So part of my New Year plan is to make notes for myself AND use this blog to do just that – provide updates and pictures about the various stages of projects as I work on them. Stay tuned!

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3 Responses to Paper Arts in the New Year

  1. Kate Heald says:

    This all looks wonderful! And I know part of you, like part of me, is saying “oh, great, another medium to fill up my space/use up my money/etc.” But it really is all good 🙂

    • silvergrrl says:

      For real! But I believe that the more I use my creativity, the more creative I can be in ALL my endeavors. So it is very good indeed.

  2. Nancy Christine Leicht says:


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