Things you can do with paper

I spent a lovely day out with my wife at a paper making course. Somewhat zenlike as we started with paper, soaked and pulped it and then made paper out of it again. But it was fun and I ended up with 20 odd sheets of rough, soft, multicoloured paper. What to do with it? Bereft of ideas I stuck a few sheets on an old canvas and washed over them with acrylic medium.

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I thought this provided an interesting ground to put something on. I tried a few landscapes, but nothing gelled. Then I looked at the most recent life drawing I did a few weeks ago.

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This is a drawing of a very interesting young woman. This was the first time she had ever modeled. She was anxious for about 10 seconds and then just relaxed into it. She is a neuroscientist, between her undergraduate and masters degrees. I thought she could make a bold painting on a powerful ground.  The charcoal sketch confirmed this.

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I almost wanted to leave it here, and maybe should have, but the charcoal was very ephemeral on this surface, so I tried applying very thin glasses of acrylic, just to bring out the surfaces. I’m really quite pleased with the outcome. I’m not sure why such a wild background helps, but it seems to.

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