My Paper Route

Quilting is inching along at a tortoise-like pace to spare the tendonitis in my arm. I allow myself about half an hour each day. To do something quickly I’ve made still more collages using fused fabric and paper and glue. As with fabric, it’s the surface design aspects that are the most liberating and fun. I’ve painted tissue paper and postcards, tinted and stamped pages from an old book, organized my collection of torn out magazine pages, and even colored bits of a cardboard egg carton. Along the way I’ve watched lots of videos and become quite the shopper on Dick Blick’s website.

I’m getting better at pasting paper. Now only about a quarter of the pieces stick to my fingers. I still don’t achieve even glue coverage, though I go over each piece with an old credit card to smooth it down. My experiments include use of old sketchbook pages, a pre-stretched canvas, and mixed media paper. My favorite work to date is “Shadow,” below.

“Silhouette” reminded a friend of West Side Story.

“Dream” benefited from Caribbean vacation ads.

All of the pieces above drew from my stash of NYT Magazine ads.

“Spiraling Out of Control” was made from fused fabric scraps, used pretty much as I found them.

“Night Blooming Paisleys” used cut outs from my ovals, and a spray painted pre-stretched canvas.

“Echinacea” used fabric bits fused to colored tissue paper.

I hope to begin stitching together cloth and paper, and have painted some backgrounds to use. I’ve also played with India ink marks on fabric. Because collage is fast compared with quilting, it makes me focus on designing two or three compositions each day. While I don’t make that many each day, as I gussy up bits of paper to use in compositions I develop ideas and cluster materials I think will work well together. And the same design principles apply.

As usual, I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under In Process, Inspiration, Techniques

16 responses to “My Paper Route

  1. Love your collages!

  2. Norma Schlager

    I love your paper collages, hard to pick a favorite , but it might be the first one, or the second, or the third…. Oh heck, I like them all.

  3. So much fun to watch you delve into paper experiments. It was the gentle pastel color scheme that first caught my eye. Then I enjoyed exploring the ephemera and design process.

    • I appreciate your comments on my collage sketches. Doing the pastel one was hard for me as I don’t gravitate toward that palette instinctively, but I learned that you can still get a range of values.

  4. Susan Greenberg Hudson

    Dear Joanne,
    i just love looking at this imagery. I really think you are onto something special and when you move forward adding stitches the doors will open even further.
    All the best, Susan

  5. Claudia McCarter

    These collages are inspiring and look like a fun challenge!
    I like the idea of using the stretched canvas. What other substrates do you use? I love your “Echinacea” collage!

    • Thanks, though I think the color of “Echinacea” is a bit much. So far I’ve worked on the stretched canvas, black watercolor paper (very sturdy but pricey), old sketchbook sheets, paper designed for home printed greeting cards, and multi-media paper. I hope to try regular canvas for a stitched fabric/paper collage. My experience has been you need a sturdy backing that can handle whatever you’re using as glue. With fusible stuff like mistyfuse and wonderunder that’s not so much an issue. And you can indeed use those fusibles on paper.

  6. You have your Rex Ray going with these wonderful collages. These are amazing.

    • Thanks Charlotte. I think the photo of Ray surrounded by all his collage papers set something off in me. Next, I want to incorporate stitching with my collages. I was signed up for a class on just that, but it’s been cancelled. I guess I’ll muddle through my trial and error.

  7. Wow, these are cool and very inspiring. Over the past few years I have been excited to learn that I can do so much more than cut only fabric up and patchwork it into something new. You obviously have too. I agree, of these, Shadow is the one I like best, but with each piece your eye for good composition and contrast shine through!

    • Oh thanks, Ann. I began to collage because I wanted to concentrate on design and not fuss with the mechanics of quilting. Of course there are mechanics with collage, but they don’t seem to take as much time. A friend said my collages are very quilt-like. I can’t imagine why that might be.

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