Friday, February 17, 2012

Painted Love

As you may have guessed from this picture I posted on Sunday, I  love to paint papers. 
A few people asked me about what they are and how I made them.
All the painted pages below are gelatin prints and I posted a little tutorial about it a million years ago.   I used an actual gelatin block that I made with unflavored gelatin, but it seems you can now buy something to simulate it.  You can find my tutorial here. 
The papers hanging on this clothesline are simple paste papers.
Here's how to make them.
In a nutshell, you mix paste with paint, spread it on the paper and make marks.
I bought a carton of Elmer's Art Paste and mixed up the whole box.  (It makes a gallon).  You really don't need much for any painting session, but this stuff seems to keep indefinitely.  I've had the remainder of the gallon sealed in a plastic container for over 2 years and I just used it last week and it was fine.  I mixed a blob of paste with a blob of cheap acrylic.  (maybe 2 parts paint to 1 part paste?  I wing it)
I spread it on cardstock with a brush:
And while the paint is still very wet, used a bunch of different tools (including my fingers) to make marks.
You can use colored paper and paint a different color on top for a 2-color effect:
This one is blue paint on yellow paper:
Here's are a few more examples: 
On this one I painted stripes on the paper before making the marks
 On this one I used a rubber stamp:
 more finger painting:
 So now I have enormous piles of painted papers.  What do I do with them?
Sometimes I use it as a great first layer of an art journal background.
Usually I cut them up and use them in different things.
For a while I was really into creating tiny mosaics.
None of these individual colored pieces are larger than a square inch
I used a bunch on a journal cover a few years ago:
This hangs on my studio wall:
Now I'm more likely to use them as collage elements in mixed media pieces:
I like marbled papers even better than paste papers, but we'll talk about that another day.


  1. I love those papers, so many, and thanks for the paste info, ai just might give that a try

  2. Very cool papers and what a great stash to have on hand. You can never have too many painted papers, right?!

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. I haven't gone through the whole thing yet, but I will. I received a package from you today. Thank you. That thank you is underlined and in bold with an exclamation point at the end.

    I need to learn how to marblize paper. Do you have a tutorial for that too? :) I was assigned you as my swap-bot partner for the one book swap and so now I owe you two amazing file folders. Will do my best.
    I've been experimenting with Jane Davies' techniques these days and not working on my swap obligations. Bad me. No worries. Experimentations lead to amazingness, right?
    I love everything that you send me and appreciate you immensely,

  4. I bet that's a very relaxing process....more like playing then the very serious chore of papermaking :)

  5. Not only are the papers luscious, then you cut them up and make incredible mosaics with them? I am inspired. Love all the bubbles/circles in red and orange and the framed blue mosaic.

  6. That is a marvelous stash of color and juiciness there my friend. I need to put my road runner shoes on to keep up with you. xox Corrine

  7. Oooohhhhh I'm with Corrine -- how yummy and wonderful. Oh the things I could do with a stash of painted papers like those...if only i could paint...oh wait--maybe I will follow your instructions and try it. Love those postcards you make too....thanks for the eye candy and inspiration.

  8. First of all, I have to say that I love the title of this post (I am going to have the Soft Cell song in my head all day now)!

    This is sooooo awesome - I cannot wait to try gelatin printing... Why have I never heard of this before?!? Great tutorial! Thanks :)

    You are so cool.


  9. Kitty love your color-papers too ;-) Wow so inspirering! I have to try this out... looks like so much fun... and allways good to have lovely selfmade papers on hand when your muse is coming, hihi