Happy New Year, dear reader!
I wish you a wonderfully creative and inspired year. That you may find silence to bud and confidence to do whatever your soul whispers to your mind…
I planned to clear out my studio yesterday. There are three really awesome projects to work on for this year and I needed space and structure to do so. However…things often don’t work out as planned, eh?
First I wanted to change the position of my front worktable. But on top of that table, leaning against the wall, was a pretty impressive row of books that first needed a new place. But with the cabinets being stuffed, I first needed to make some room in there. The dreaded fullness of my cabinets! I hardly dared open the door to one of them, because behind it lay the piles of patterned paper I’ve collected in recent years. The same pile of patterned paper I thought I would use to make collages in mixed media work. The very same pile I have used next to nothing of. The exact same pile that even my kids won’t touch because it doesn’t make them feel creative (their words!). And they are so right! I am not the patterned paper kinda girl.
The scraps of paper I do use for my mixed media work, is the little dirty pieces of paper I wipe my brushes off on, that I use to test pens if they still write, notes I write or quotes I hear, or page numbers of books that I’m reading or little notes to self. It is those little every-day scraps of paper with and without meaning, but all of them traces of my life, that I use in my collage work. Or paper that I paint myself. So, all of that patterned paper – designed by somebody else – could go.
But what to do with it? I gave so much stuff away last year already that I felt this time I wanted to actually do something with it myself and make the most of it. As a reminder never to buy patterned paper again. Or any other excess of art supplies, for that matter. But also to make it worth my while – to justify all that time is has been stuffing my cabinets. So I spread it all out on my table. It doesn’t seem so overwhelmingly much on the photo above, but that is only because I used the “miniature” settings on my camera to try and make it somewhat lighter to chew on, visually. We’re talking about over 7000 sheets of paper here in different sizes.
I sniffed it for a while and then decided I would turn all of these sheets into art journals. I wasn’t going to use them for collage, but I could use them to bind books and make a huge stack of new art journals! The nice patterns can perhaps be an inspiring canvas to paint over. And gesso will deal with some of the ugly patterns I’ve found in there. Transparent work might actually take something out of the pre-produced patterns for me after all, in the end.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned once again from this is that having it all, is having too much. These stacks of paper have been a weight on my shoulders. I’ve experienced this before: having too many art supplies kills inspiration. Last year I got rid of half of what I had. But I find that this year I want to cut down even further. Limiting myself, makes room for inspiration. It’s as simple as that. Or at least, it is for me.
So, I guess that even though I didn’t plan to make any New Year’s resolutions, I now have two. The first is that I’m turning this unused paper into art journals. And the second is that I will not buy any patterned paper anymore. Which is actually more of a forever-resolution than one for just this year…
See the green board and the creme board on its right? Those are book covers I made this year. I’m finally turning them both into really neat art journals! Inspiration unleashed already! I’ll get back to you when the journals are bound! I can’t wait to show a table full of art journals next time. And I also can’t wait to get started on those really nice projects I started this blogpost with… Till then!