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More Collage Papers That You Can Make

July 8, 2010

Here are some more examples of what you can do with ordinary papers and a little paint to come up with some beautiful collage papers to use in your own art.

The first two were brown paper bags that were flattened out and kept on hand as I painted on my canvases and panels. Then when I want to blot a little paint off my canvas or panel, or I want to clean off a brayer, I use the piece of brown paper and lay it aside after depositing the color. Then I repeat and repeat until I have a rich layer of pattern and color. I liked how the first one began to look like writing.

This next example is a piece of newsprint. I do the same thing that I do to the brown paper. I almost always have a sheet of one or the other on hand to receive excess paint from my normal painting process. The one below was obviously slightly crumpled when I laid it down on a panel to blot some very wet paint. Since the newsprint isn’t very absorbent, the paint makes an interesting pattern.

CitraSolv Process

The next three are examples of several sheets of papers that were very generously shared with me by Deridre Abbots, who attended a workshop on how to make these. They look like works of art in themselves.

I looked up the process online and found out a little more about how they are made. I believe they were done using CitraSolv on old National Geographic pages. I can’t wait to experiment with some of my own. Click here to see a whole gallery of these beauties.

(Deirdre, if you’re reading this right now, I just want you to know that I haven’t had the heart to tear or cut these beautiful pages. Maybe I’ll use scans of them in various ways. After all, the papers are two-sided, since the solvent works on both sides of the magazine pages.)

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 4:12 pm

    Greetings Martha,

    II could not help but smile as I have often looked at the results of my drop cloth or paper bag that was being used as a depository of the extra paint on my brush.

    Not to long ago, I saved the palate paper and used it as a background in a masthead design for a friends website.

    Thank you for sharing,

    • July 8, 2010 10:06 pm

      Egmont, i consider everything as material for collage or inspiration for painting compositions. Drop cloths, squeegees, blotters, everything!

  2. July 9, 2010 7:45 pm

    I found I also had a hard time using them. One nice thing about when you finally do cut them up is the quality of the paper is so nice and they glue down without a lot of wrinkling (unless you are trying for that look).

    I have been getting ready for the next day I have some time to make some news papers – I am going to try taking the books apart first, to try and control the colors. This would let me keep brights, earth and text colors separate. I heard you can get some brighter colors this way. I have plenty of magazines to experiment with because I mentioned to a relative who runs tag sales that I’d love any NG’s they might get rid of at the end of a sale and I found a box of almost 100 magazines.

    I’m glad you liked the pages – I like the ones you sent this way also!
    😀 eirdre

    • July 10, 2010 4:35 pm

      You lucky dog! Wow, I’m going to be looking for some of those mags. My sister has a ton of them but then she keeps absolutely everything and wouldn’t think of letting them go for something like that. But I’m sure there are plenty of them around. I do want to try this.

      Glad you liked the sheets I sent.

  3. July 10, 2010 1:46 pm

    Nice work… I was actually about to ask whether or not you were familiar with Citrasolv before I finished reading your post and saw your examples! 🙂 I also took a workshop on Citrasolv and create a textured paper that I then glued to a canvas with gel medium and painted over it.

  4. Pat Shaer permalink
    July 10, 2010 4:22 pm


    Toni forwarded one of your pages about making collage paper. Then, lo and behold! I continued reading here and you’re talking about Citrasolv and NG pages. Seems the process is taking the world by storm, literally! I discovered a discussion on the digest. To shorten the tale, another artists, Bunny, and I tackled the technique. Sure was fun.

    However, the reds and yellows did not seem to react like everything else. Did you find this to be true? Quite frustrating.

    And, finallyl, Citrasolve can also be used in transferring photos onto paper or fabric. Dharma Trading has a lot to advise about all processes.

    Now I’m going to check out my paper bags. These are great for surface designs as you have done, plus stamping and collaging over and making journal or notepad covers.


    • July 10, 2010 4:36 pm

      Papers and solvents and pictures, oh my! Does it ever end? I’m so inspired! I’m so glad you stopped by, Pat. Do it again soon!

  5. David M. permalink
    July 10, 2010 5:35 pm

    Martha, these are stunning! I love the idea of using brown paper bags as art. I’m thinking they’d be wonderful for gift-wrapping, too!

    Thank you for sharing!

    – David

  6. July 21, 2010 5:00 pm

    Do you have experience over the long term with the citrasolv papers? Do they look good for a year or two and then fade because of the change in the Ph? do you know?

    • July 21, 2010 6:33 pm

      Julie, I have never made any. I do want to try it, but your question is a good one worth pursuing with those more experienced in the process, like the CitraSolv people themselves — although I’m not sure they would know a lot about archivability.

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