Quilt collage: Pieces of Joy & Sorrow

 On a recent trip to Amsterdam earlier this year, I had the pleasure of visiting the fabulous paper store, Vlieger Papier. I browsed the shop for close to an hour before coming away with a (regrettably) small selection of patterned paper. These gorgeous materials have made their way into a new series of collage, inspired by quilts and quilt-making. 

I’ve been thinking about this idea for a long time, and have previously explored quilts as paper-cut pieces. With this one I was thinking about American “Crazy” Quilts, which are formed from very irregular scraps of fabrics, rather than following a specific pattern. I went with chunky, roughly geometric shapes for my composition, and then made the selection of pattern papers as I went along.

I love the process of creating these, because I construct, deconstruct, and then reconstruct. I construct the composition as a drawing, then deconstruct it by cutting the sections into individual pieces, then I select and glue patterned paper to each, before reconstructing all of the pieces back together again. It’s like making a puzzle.

The finished work is attached to spacers I make by hand from paper, and then float mounted it onto a 11 x 14 inch heavy archival paper as a background. I think these work best as a floating collage.


How To Mix Patterns at Coup Salon

I’m pleased to present a small show of pattern mixing collages on display at Coup Salon until the end of March. The show is titled, How To Mix Patterns, and features seven small collage pieces, and two paper cut pieces.

This series of collages initially came about after a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in my hands in early September 2021. They have been a way to continue creating but with a lighter impact on my body than the extremely intricate hand-cut work I typically produce. I came across these collections of beautiful papers, and it inspired me to think about turning them into collaged versions of my pattern mixing focused paper-cut pieces. I wanted them to relate but be their own unique body of work.

All of the pieces are available for sale and can be purchased through my online shop.

How to Mix Patterns
Location: Coup Salon
Address: 524 Shanghai Alley, Vancouver BC
Dates: January 21st to March 31st, 2022


Paper Cut Collage Designs

Now that Got Craft is over I am sharing more of the paper cut collages I made in preparation. Each one is created from a piece of black card stock using freehand paper cutting with an xacto knife. I’ve been using brightly coloured and patterned origami paper to collage them, with an additional piece of cardstock on the back to add thickness. Each one is mounted onto a wooden cradle panel painted black.

Paper Cut Collage Design-3
Paper Cut Collage Design-4
Paper Cut Collage 6″ x 6″ | Etsy listing

Paper Cut Collage Design
Paper Cut Collage Design-2
Paper Cut Collage 8″ x 8″ | Etsy listing

Paper Cut Collage Design
Paper Cut Collage Design-2
Paper Cut Collage 6″ x 6″ | [SOLD]

I’ll share the rest of them tomorrow, and hopefully this week I will get to making larger pieces. Stay tuned….

Collaging Into Spring

With all the bird and flowering tree watching I tend do, it’s no surprise both have made their way into these two recent collages.

These evolved even more spontaneously than usual. I chose pieces of sewing pattern paper and glued them down as the backgrounds for each before deciding what else I would do. It worked out very well, especially the top one with the lines suggesting the branches of a Sakura tree.

Bird collage

Bird collage-2

The materials used in these are the same as previous collages; sewing pattern paper, security envelopes, book page scraps, and red paper. I created the flower shapes using a paper punch rather than freehand cutting as I usually do.

Bird collage-3

Bird collage-4

These are not yet listed on Etsy, but will be later this week. Thanks to a conversation with my fellow artists I’m rethinking how I price some of the recent work I’ve created.

Bringing Together Paper Cuts and Collage

I realized yesterday that I need to come up with a title for the series of organic looking paper cut forms I’ve been working on. My mind is drawing a blank at the moment so I’m open to suggestions.

When I shared some of these the other week they seemed more like a sketch than a finished piece. I’d been contemplating what to do further with them in terms of finishing and display. I liked backing the paper cut designs with coloured paper, but I hated the idea of enclosing them in traditional matting and framing. Then I came across Bill Zindel’s Geometric Collage and my brain began churning around the idea of collaging them with many different patterned papers.

I used the same three different patterned origami papers with both of these, and pieced it together at the back. I backed everything with a second piece of black card stock and cut away the excess paper. They are mounted onto wood panels (what is normally the back) and I painted these black for a more dramatic effect.

Origami collage paper cut-3
Untitled | 6″ x 6″

Origami collage paper cut-4
Untitled (detail) | 6″ x 6″

Origami collage paper cut
Untitled | 8″ x 8″

Origami collage paper cut-2
Untitled (detail) | 8″ x 8″

The patterned paper gives them a nice KAPOW of colour and plays off the smaller shapes within the larger form.

Once I figure out my pricing I’ll be making these available in my Etsy shop, as well as sharing them with the public at Got Craft? on May 6th.

Paper Birds Wading in a Paper World

These days I’m switching back and forth between paper cuts and collages as I prepare work for Got Craft and beyond. These two are the latest in the bird collages on wooden panel. I really like them.

I’ve been holding onto a few scrap pieces of book pages I’d cut shapes from and made use of them in these two finished pieces. Note the book page at the top of the Black Oyster Catcher collage, and the one at the bottom of the Sandpiper collage to see what I mean.

Bird Collage - Sandpiper

Bird Collage - Sandpiper
Sandpiper Collage | 10″ x 10″ | Etsy Listing

Bird Collage - Black Oyster Catcher

Bird Collage - Black Oyster Catcher
Black Oyster Catcher Collage | 10″ x 10″ | Etsy Listing

Both are available for purchase through my Etsy shop.

Etsy Update: New Bird Collages in the Shop

In preparation for Got Craft? at the beginning of May, I’ve been busy creating new small works to sell. I’m continuing with the series of abstract compositions using recycled materials and birds on wooden panel.

They are very enjoyable to work on. I like the play with movement, colour, shape, and pattern, and coming up with new things to do with the same old materials. I think eventually the birds will disappear from these and they will become studies of only shape and form.

Bird collage on wood-2
6″x 6″ collage on wooden panel | Etsy listing

Bird collage on wood-3
6″x 6″ collage on wooden panel | Etsy listing

Bird collage on wood-4
6″x 6″ collage on wooden panel | Etsy listing

Bird collage on wood
8″x 8″ collage on wooden panel | Etsy listing

These four new collages, along with a few older pieces, are available for purchase in my Etsy shop »

The Completed Sketchbook Project: Thread and Surface

I put the finishing touches on my Sketchbook Project pages yesterday. I am pleased with how it’s all come together. It was a good place to explore new ideas around paper cutting and collage, and the whole thing has inspired new work. That’s exactly what a sketchbook is for.

The theme I chose to work with was Thread and Surface. My original intention was to sew thread throughout the book once the paper cuts and collage were finished but I decided it wasn’t necessary. The thread is the less literal part of the theme, while I definitely played around with the surface of the pages, by cutting parts away and layering them with papers. There are threads of the same shape used in each pair of paper cuts and collage to tie the compositions together.

Sketchbook Project

I chose to do a text-based paper cut for the cover using the same blue paper found inside the sketchbook. I started cutting the words freehand, didn’t like the results, then switched to using a font printed on white paper as a template. The results were much tidier.

Sketchbook Project-10

Each paper cut is paired with a collage, and the two interact in different ways depending on which way you have the page turned. The paper cut either overlays the collage creating an additional surface or it pairs beside it as a diptych.

Sketchbook Project-9

Sketchbook Project-8

All of the collages were created with the same materials: security envelopes, book page scraps, a bird, and red paper. There are eight collages and eight paper cuts throughout the book.

Sketchbook Project-7

Sketchbook Project-6

Sketchbook Project-5

Sketchbook Project-4

Sketchbook Project-3

Sketchbook Project-2

I really enjoyed working on this small project. I’m a little sad to be sending it off to Brooklyn after all the hard work, but it’s a good lesson in letting go.