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TORN PAPER PAINTING. Have some papers (magazines, pamphlets, wrapping paper, etc.) waiting to be creatively recycled?

Some time ago, I started sorting my collage papers by colors and values, creating a palette similar to my watercolor palette. Greens and blues are the biggest pile, and I have bright little trays of reds, oranges and pinks, and small boxes of yellows and browns. My stash of printed words (a lot of pages torn from foreign magazines and travel brochures) and maps is beginning to grow like Kudzu and creep out of the boxes on my shelves. Not to mention the overflowing tins of postage stamps and candy wrappers and . . . you get the picture!

Finally the day arrived when I put everything else in my life “on hold” and smiled and waved good-bye to my husband when he went outside to do yardwork. One of my old watercolors of a Tuscan villa needed a new life. Torn Paper Painting seemed to be the perfect solution. So I set up shop and began tearing and sorting and shuffling papers. A jar of liquid starch and an old 1 in. flat brush became my glue tools.

It was so much fun layering papers, playing around with bits ‘n pieces until I liked the emerging effect. Messy. Relaxing. A learning experience.

Warning to heed if/when I ever do this again: My large canvas curled as it dried and I accidentally lost several pieces I had intended to use—they probably ended up in File 13 (the trash).

Let me know if you have a creative paper recycle art project to share.

Author: Bonnie Porter

Bonnie Porter is an artist who lived in Europe and now resides in Atlanta. A part-time art teacher who paints and creates with a love of color, line and composition, drawing on inspiration from everywhere.

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