January and February have passed with me learning about paste papers. I am really quite interested in the varied applications of this genre – historical, contemporary, practical and just plain fun to do! I came upon paste papers as a medium because I have temporarily had to give up the exacting work of cutting and folding papers for bookarts. I was looking for a way to work on my art while suffering severe bursitis (threat of frozen shoulder) with muscle impingement in my Sword, Pen, Needle and Brush etc. arm…only a range of motion of about 12″ across my work bench and no cutting of paper…oy. So welcome paste papers. (I think it might become an addiction, dear Reader…you should see my stash…)
I reported last month on various experimental papers I made using corn starch paste and methyl cellulose paste as paint carriers. This month I was also into wheat starch paste, the traditional paste used by bookbinders of old, found also in the nineteenth century decorative paper art of the Moravian sisters whose designs are admired and prized still.
A quick post today so as not to let February pass without a post from me. The physiotherapist tells me to take it easy on the computer and to modify my studio practice until my arm gets a lot better. So less chat this time, more pics. Here we go.
I am trying to use the Moravian sisters’ traditional palette of Prussian blue, carmine red, yellow ochre and olive green. (I have to say it is not easy to find paint makers of modern acrylics today who carry paints thus named. So we have to figure out the chemicals. Next time, I hope I can report my use of home-mixed, raw pigments to get these colours). Within my limits, I am practicing the use of various tools like combs and calligraphy steel brush pens – not to mention Q tips and pastry brushes…(I am fortunate that I am not tempted by the neighbour’s surly cat)
The last image shows some renegade design of my own – actually, a fish pattern adapted from that used by Pisanky makers to decorate their Resurrection-theme eggs at Easter. I carved a lino block or two with the pattern. The lattice designs above are versions of the patterns typical of the Hernnhutter (Moravian sisters) designs, as the “pulled paper”and stippled designs. Will report the how-to’s when I can type more.
And some non-traditional designs in a series I have entitled “Northern Lights” – lots of colour, and sloshing about of paint and swooping around with combs etc ( no kitty tails, though, honest):
That orange accordion (L) is Stage One of an artist book I made with orange paste paint and a wood grain tool to imitate the fur of my daughter’s orange kitty whom I LOVE… will show you the finished book next time. It opens on the other side of the zig zig to blank pages. The working title of the book is ” Everything I Know About How Cats Think” .
Hasta la vista, everyone. Wanted you to know what I was thinking while waiting for the garden to come back…and to say welcome and thank you to all the new readers for your interest!