I have always been fascinated with fabrics and paper. My artwork is an expression of my love for color, patterns and texture. Handmade papers today are readily available on the internet, art supply stores as well as from sources all over the world. As a former Montessori preschool teacher, I was able to create many of the materials that were used in my classroom. It was a wonderful outlet for my creative needs. When I retired that need was unfulfilled until I discovered the wealth of papers readily available and was immediately drawn to their beauty.
I "paint" with layers of paper, many of which are handmade and come from Japanese or Thai sources. These papers come in as many spectrums as fabric materials, allowing me to play with numerous different looks. I use watercolors, ink and dye to enhance the existing color of the paper, changing the visual texture that a paper has. This creates a more personal ‘palette’ for me to create my images.
In the style of Laura W. Adams from Savannah, I begin each work by establishing the color palette. Then I cut selected papers into one inch squares and glue them over the entire background very much as a quilter uses fabric. The next layer(s) are composed of more squares and can result in up to 8 or 9 layers in some areas, until I am pleased with the results. Then the entire piece is sealed with matte acrylic fluid. I often use quilt patterns or photographs as an inspiration for a piece.
Every day continues to be an experiment in what can be done with these papers. Exploring various art mediums has been such a freeing experience. I am thoroughly captivated in the learning process as I improvise, experiment and take risks. The result is a feeling of incredible satisfaction and fulfillment. I feel just as my preschoolers did when they “connected” with the concept I was teaching. It is like having an inner light turned on.