My Latest Set of Small Abstract Paper Collages

The beauty of being an artist is that I’m rarely bored. There’s always something to try, something to research, something to mess around with. It can make having to stay home in a pandemic and perhaps suffering from what I like to call “the-four-wall-bouncies” quite a bit easier. I can divert my attention and get into a meditative space in my studio. Making the paper collages has been a great diversion and an excuse to try out ideas, and see where they lead.

This next set is a little odd. I’ve been finding that each of these sets is sort of like a little series but this time 5 of the 6 collages are in variations of the same colours.

And one, totally different. The odd one out, just seemed to come together immediately or close to….

Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, sweet pea seed photo copy paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell

The other five all have elements in common, either the colour, mostly turqoise and orange, or textures or just the “feel”. These collages didn’t come together easily. In fact , I pushed bits and pieces around over a few days. And then, voila, one day I walked into the studio, moved a few pieces around and hey, all of them seemed to get to the finish point. These will be on our Etsy shop, FoundMadeArt, eventually. Still catching up there. They are priced at $60 each and we do offer Free Shipping.

Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with pencil crayon, various created painted papers, on paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with pencil crayon, various created painted papers, on paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with pencil crayon, various created painted papers, on paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with pencil crayon, various created painted papers, on paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with pencil crayon, various created painted papers, on paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell

I’m already working on the next set on paper. And I’m planning to do some on small cradled panels and also some small stretched canvases. Got it all ready to go.

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Another Six Little Abstract Paper Collages

Today I’m posting another set of six small abstract collages that I’ve been creating lately. I’m quite enjoying working on these, finally finding a use for all those scraps of tissue and painted paper. Some of these have as an element, scraps from photographs of the seed pods of a wild sweet pea that comes up in our garden every year. I’d taken the photos into Photoshop and upped the contrast and created some interesting lines and textures. Now was my chance to use them. Others have scraps of sewing pattern tissue, just for the lines and colour.

Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell

The fun thing with creating these is the layering of colour, textures and lines, each piled on the other. I work from one composition to the other, loosely and intuitively. I enjoy taking my time, pondering, and often trying the same scrap in each composition, until I find the one where it fits perfectly. Once I have it all laid out as I want, I take quick photos to remind me of where everything went before I go back and slowly fasten each layer down with matte medium onto acid free mixed media paper. It’s quite the process!

Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, sweet pea seed photo copy paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell

Each collage is quite small, only about 5.5 x 5.75 inches or approx 13×14 cm. I think they tend to have a cohesiveness and would look quite good in groups. I hope to have all of them posted eventually on our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt soon. They’re sold unframed, priced at $60 each and we offer free shipping too.

Working on a new set now, so more to come! The next set looks to be quite different in composition so far. Experimenting again….

Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, sweet pea seed photo copy paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, s 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Small Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, sweet pea seed photo copy paper, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
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Another set of Small Abstract Collages

I’m back in my studio, creating a new set of collages and I’m finding it very interesting and fun. They don’t happen really quickly, they take time and lots of pondering of each little composition. Today, I’m posting another 6 paper collages with another 6 still to come. This set is again very colourful. I do like lots of colour. The surfaces are a collection of painted papers, very colourful tissue, bits of pattern papers and even some seeds. The images of seeds are from photos of seeds in our garden. I had a bit of fun taking those photos and manipulating them to high contrast images which ended up being a nice source of texture in the collages. These collages are built up in layers, each layer attached with matte medium onto the paper and then onto the next layer. I will be posting these as well on our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt. They are priced quite affordably and we also offer Free Shipping anywhere. I’m hoping they find homes either alone or in groups.

So, here is my second set of abstract collages. I haven’t given them titles. I like the idea that each one is left to be interpreted by the viewer.

Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, fennel seed photo copy 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, sweet pea seed photo 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, ink pen, various saved and painted papers, 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers, cardoon seed head photo. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
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Next Installment of My New Paper Collages

I was expecting to post the next sets of collages much sooner, but, due to a few health problems, NOT COVID, thank goodness, I had to delay. So although these collages have been done for a while now, there was a lot of scanning and preparation to deal with before I could finally post.

I have also taken a big step, for me, and decided to put the collages in our Etsy shop FoundMadeArt! I’m hoping they’ll fall nicely into that “affordable art” niche, something colourful and small to jazz up someone’s walls. I’ve kept them priced quite inexpensively ($60 Cdn), for a one-of-a-kind art work, and hope that they’ll make a nice gift for someone else or just for yourself. We all need a little treat, right? Although they are being sold unframed, here is a little example of one framed. We love to find frames at thrift stores and really encourage everyone to try that too. Great recycling! We’ll be adding more as we go along.

Framed small Abstract Collage by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small Abstract Paper Collage,5x 5.5 inches (approx 13 x 14 cm)created with paper, tissue, paint, pencil crayon. Helen Bushell

The next batch of 6 collages are again very small, just image size 5 x 5.5 inches (approx 13 x 14 cm), and would work quite nicely framed and hung in groups too. Each composition is created with layers of paper, tissue, painted paper, black and white prints of seeds from the garden like cardoon or sweet pea, even fennel seeds. In some, there is even a bit of tissue from patterns for sewing. Nothing wasted around here…

Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
Abstract Paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Small abstract collage, mixed media with tissue, pencil crayon, various saved and painted papers. 5 x 5.5 inches, Helen Bushell
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Making the Switch from Fabric Collage to Small Paper Collage

Here we are, Will and I, basically still at home, staying safe. Making little forays out now and then for curb pick up or quick shops, masked up, sanitizer hand cleaner at the ready. Summer has zoomed by, today the calendar says it’s the start of Fall. But, the time has not been wasted and has been, for the most part, put to good and I may say, even enjoyable, use. The upside of being an artist I suppose. We’re rarely bored, even stuck at home.

I’m taking a short break from the frustrations of dealing my new sewing machine, all that thread changing, stitch setting, constantly reading my instruction manual. Lol. Yes, sewing is not second nature to me. Even though I love playing with the fabric, pushing scraps into pleasing collages. And even though I love zooming around, the feed dogs down, drawing and scribbling with threads and stitches, I said to myself, enough! Time for a change…..

Fabric collage creation in my studio, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

So, I decided to transform my little studio from a sewing studio into a paper collage studio instead. Luckily, I’m quite organized, but then, I have to be. My studio measures about 10 ft by 12 feet (3 x 3.5 m). It’s full to the brim with shelves stacked with dishes for mosaic, a large easel for painting, shelves holding fabric scraps, paints, brushes, glue, tools. All this not to mention, 3 or 4 sewing machines, one new but most rather vintage bargains found at garage sales and thrift stores brought back to life by Will’s talent with oiling and cleaning, So after the work table is cleared, the fabric packed into recycled plastic storage bins, the little ironing board folded and put away, it’s just a matter of bringing up the boxes from under the work table full of folders of paper scraps and voila!, I have the paper collage studio!

Creating paper collage in my studio, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Most of my paper collage is made with paper design and textures of my own making. I’m not one for using much from old mags. Lots of mark making is saved. I do like to create abstract collage and for that I need lots of colour and texture. So, every time I paint, before I clean off my plate of leftover wet paint, I use paper from old envelopes, junk mail, whatever and rub the the paper on the leftover paint. It makes amazing one off prints and you get some interesting textures. These are all saved for later use in paper collage. So, before you know it, the table is now piled high with scraps of paper, pencil crayons and matte medium.

I’ve decided to have a bit of fun, work small (around 5.5 x 6in or 14 x 15 cm), do them up, 6 collages at once on mixed media paper. This approach has had the added benefit of keeping me loose and intuitive as I work, each piece is not getting too precious. So I’ve been taking my time, playing with each arrangement, fiddling with details, and enjoying the process. But they’re starting to pile up a bit and I’m planning on putting them up on our FoundMadeArt shop. Some will also be scanned for use on products on our Print on Demand shops too and may become prints, pillows, clothing, furniture, all sorts of things. I’ll be posting each group as they become scanned and ready. Hope you enjoy! Here’s batch #1.

Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
Collage on Paper, by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com
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“Migration” a new Paper collage

"Migration" paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Will often helps me come up with titles for work. To him, it felt like the red pieces were moving or migrating, even.  Hence, the title.  I’m playing with creating framing within the composition.  And I’ve been saving the little blue crosses on my correspondence from Blue Cross and like them much better as little blue X’s. Sort of X marks the spot.

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“Sidecar”, new Paper Collage

"Sidecar", paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

This is a 6in Square paper collage, again using double sided adhesive.  All the papers are created or found.  The speckle is a favourite, the security inside of envelopes in the post.  And that little orange bit in the middle, that is actually a series of numbers with the edges muddied in photoshop and then colored.  Most of the colors come courtesy of junk mail, proving again that artists see a use in junk.  I’m quite happy with the over-the-top color.

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“Northern Arrangement” another paper collage

 

"Northern Arrangement", paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

Another little,  6 inches square, paper collage.  It sort of feels cool in contrast to those hot red x’s, so I called it Northern Arrangement.  Also done with double sided adhesive and a variety of created papers.

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Paper Collage, “Contained Action”

" paper collage, Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

We’re starting 2018 with a bit of change, a new blog design.  Nice and fresh and colorful.  Each time you open our blog you will see something new. And we’re hoping to feature more of our artwork, but maybe just a bit at a time.   This latest paper collage done with double sided adhesive is called “Contained Action” since it seemed to me to be flying bits flying around in a box of sorts.   I’ve been having a bit of fun doing these,  not only creating the collages but also creating the paper surfaces.   Each of these little collages is about 6 inches square.  So it’s tiny, but action packed. lol

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Sound Room, another paper collage

"Sound Room" paper collage by Helen Bushell, summerhouseart.com

LIttle scraps of paper, bits of painted paper and printed paper.  And it made me think of a Room with sound moving in it.  Therefore, the title.  Another 6in x 6 in paper collage.

Continue reading “Sound Room, another paper collage”
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