Lessons on Paper Stashes, Paints and Collage

Simplify!  That is my word for the month of October.  In that spirit, I am going to be tackling my art studio, my home and my job – asking the question “How can I simplify?”

Starting with the art studio:  I have been hording art papers for the past few years.  I don’t know how or why this became an obsession with me, all I know is that the dresser drawers were over flowing.  Once I purchased the papers I stuck them in a drawer only to be looked at occasionally and used only when the perfect project was presented.  You know how that goes – the perfect project never appears.

Well, all that changed yesterday.  I was running out of storage space and decided to take Kelly’s advice on how to deal with paper.  When you bring home a new sheet of paper, tear it in half.  (There is something about tearing it that makes it OK to use.)  Take one of the halves and put it into your active box for collaging and the other half goes to a pile to be traded/swapped/donated.  I started a box with these other halves and will take them to the monthly art group for trading.  If I have left overs I will take them to my children’s school to be used in their art classes (did I mention I will be leading my son’s art class?)

Once I completed destashing the art paper, I started on all of the ephemera that was stored in boxes and folders.  I realized that I had been cutting and tearing images from magazine that really had no meaning for me – just things that I thought I might use, eventually.  A majority of the magazine images ended up in the recycle bin and I now have 12 inch by 12 inch boxes stacked and sorted by category (travel, postage, images, etc.) to hold all my ephemera pieces ready to be used.  (And I recycled the stacks of magazines that were sitting on the floor waiting for me to go through and tear out pages.  No more of that – if I see something in a magazine that catches my eye, I will tear it out immediately and file it in the proper box).

Now on to the paints.  I have at least 50 bottles of cheap acrylics sitting in the bottom of one of the drawers.  What ever possessed me to buy them, I don’t know.  Have you painted with them?  They are exactly what they are, cheap imitations that tease you into thinking you will get rich vivid color for only a buck a bottle.  Liar!  Out they go.  Nothing can compare to the color richness of my Golden paints.  I love the fluid and the tube versions of Golden and will continue to use them and blend my own colors.

What happens when you get organized?  You make stuff with the things you have!  I started six Swatches books in Kelly Kilmer’s class last weekend and spend a few hours last night collaging the first layer in them.  I found it to be so much more enjoyable now that I have my collage supplies sorted and ready to be used.

Here is my Swatches book that I started last night.  I added bits and pieces of ephemera from my recent trip to my favorite city, San Francisco.

swatches cover swatches 1-2 swatches 3-4 swatches 5-6swatches 7-8 swatches 9-10swatches 11-12 swatches 13-14swatches 15-16 swatches 17-18swatches back cover

What word will you choose to get motivated this month?

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3 Responses to Lessons on Paper Stashes, Paints and Collage

  1. rebecca says:

    love the swatch books. beautiful work.

  2. Bravo Marci!! My son is moving out in a week and a half permanently! I will move my paint and media center from the dining room into his room!!!! Then I will organize!!!!!I will have my sewing machine in the basement, our family room but I will be free to paint whenever! My word will be _________. Any suggestions? hugs Donna

    • Marci says:

      Oh Donna – how wonderful! Your word could be “movement” – not only physical, but mental. Enjoy this time!

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