Tag Archives: paper art

2013 Lotus Flower Calendar

2013 Lotus Flower Calendar
showing the individual pages and the stand that comes with the calendar

My 2013 Lotus Flower Calendar is here. Each month has a photograph of an actual paper lotus flower that I made. I made lots of lotus flowers throughout the year and photographed my favorites. I ended up with about 50 photos and had to narrow them down to just 12 for the calendar. Not only did I need to narrow the photos down to just 12, I needed each lotus flower to represent its month in some way.

October 2013 from my 2013 Lotus Flower Calendar

October’s lotus flower is made from a marbled paper I found at Paper Source in Portland. It reminds me of a pumpkin. July’s lotus flower is made from a paper I found at the U of O Bookstore in Eugene. It is red, white, black and gold, but it reminds me of the American flag (think 4th of July here). For February’s lotus flower, I did a graduated wash on the petals. They go from pink to pale pink to white on the tips. April showers bring May flowers. Each flower was carefully picked for its month.

2013 Paper Lotus Flower Calendar cover

It was a labor of love that had great results.

Click here if you are interested in seeing the steps involved in making a lotus flower.

You can purchase my Lotus Flower Calendars at the Ashland Art Center.

Enjoy, Candy

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Making Paste Papers: Part One

It’s Summer, which means I get to pull out my paints, cook up some archival paste, and play for days making paste papers. I only make paste papers during the summertime, because they dry so much quicker. Since I have a limited amount of space in which to work, the faster they dry, the more I can make.

This is what I use to make my paste.

I usually work with two paste recipes. The first is simply methyl cellulose and distilled water, which I use when adding gold and silver highlights. I get powdered methyl cellulose from www.danielsmith.com. Getting it to the right consistency takes about two days and lots of stirring. Once made, this paste can be used for months. The second recipe consists of wheat starch, rice flour, glycerin, tincture of green soap, and distilled water. This requires cooking, cooling, and running the paste through a sieve to remove any lumps. Even when refrigerated, this paste only has a shelf life of a week or less.

Here I am painting yellow paste on wet paper.

Once the paste is ready, I put it into small containers and add acrylic paint until I get the intensity of color that I want. I generally use Golden Acrylic paints because they’re highly pigmented; ‘a little dab’ll do ya’.

Here I have added more colors of paste and am blending them together on the paper.

If you’re working with children, and you want a simple, kid friendly recipe, you can make the paste from flour and water and use tempera paints to color the paste.

Before painting with the colored pastes, the paper needs to be wet. I have a shallow plastic storage container partially filled with water in which I can dip my paper. Now the real fun begins. After putting the wet paper on a non-porous surface and smoothing out any bubbles, I apply the colored pastes, usually with a large brush. Then I make marks, patterns, and textures in the paste with all sorts of objects. I’ve used combs, bottle caps, brushes, rubber stamps, chopsticks, various found objects, and anything else that happened to be around at the time. I also sprinkle metallic powders on some of the paste papers.

Now I am adding texture by stamping a bottle cap into the wet paste.

My favorite paper to use for this is Mohawk Superfine, which I use in a variety of weights, from text weight all the way to cover stock. It all depends on what I plan to make out of the finished paste paper. For my non-porous surface, I use glass, plexiglass, or a piece of laminate.The first day I make paste papers usually feels like a warm-up. By the second day, however, I find myself making some absolutely fantastic paste papers. Since I only do this once a year, I try to make sure the color combinations I use cover all four seasons. It feels weird to be making a ‘Winter’ paste paper on a hot summer day, wearing a tank top and shorts.

Paste paper laid flat to dry.

We’re not done yet! In Part 2, I’ll tell you what comes next, and I’ll show you some of the new paste papers I’ve made this summer.

Enjoy, Candy

P.S. Click here to view Making Paste Papers: Part Two.

2012 Lotus Flower Calendar

This 2012 Lotus Flower Calendar is my latest lotus flower creation. I came up with the idea of making a calendar out of my lotus flower photos. Then, with the help of my son, Christer Rowan of Rowan Design, together we made my idea become a reality.

Christer is a photoshop genius. He took my photos, dropped out the background and made them look more like the actual lotus flowers than I had been able to do. I decided which lotus flowers to use for each month. Red for February for Valentine’s Day, April showers bring May flowers, fireworks for July, sunflower for August, roasted turkey looking lotus flower for November, etc.

The project took longer than I expected, but I enjoyed doing it so very much. I decided on an elongated plastic CD type case/stand that shows off the lotus flower while also letting the viewer easily see the entire month.