EBSQ Friday Five

The EBSQ Friday Five offers a brief look at noteworthy news from around the EBSQ Artist Blogosphere.

Attitude on the Edge by Emily White

1. Darkling Treasures Anniversary Sale – Artist Emily White is having a 2 year anniversary in her shop and to celebrate she’s having a sale! Happy Anniversary Emily!

2. Best Friend New York Artist Spotlight – Linda O’Neill is one of 11 other artists featured on Best Friend New York, a rotating spotlight on artists inspired by dogs. Sales benefit the ASPCA, so check it out today!

3. Humpty Dumpty for Charity – Theresa Bayer is another EBSQ artist doing what they can to support relief efforts in Haiti. Her painting Humpty in Love is up to for auction on Ebay, with 20% going to Mercy Corps.

4. Save the Cows! – Pooka Cow, Spotty Friend and Less Spotty Friend Need your Help. Kim Bailey is donating 50% from sales in her shop to help save these cows from slaughter.

5. DIY Mini Cards – Run out of Mini Moo Cards? Jaz shows you how to transform address labels and old business cards into something brand new!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper, Part III

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

This is the third installment of Kris Jean’s handmade paper how-to. Today we feature the Pouring Method and Colorings.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

Pouring Method

The pouring method is used for thicker papers. Using a cup or the blender vessel, dip into the SLURRY and pour over the deckle. Try to pour evenly or you will end up with thicker paper in areas.

After you reached the desired amount (as much as it will hold until it starts sliding off the edges), let it drip until the drips slow down quite a bit

Follow the same wringing techniques as mentioned above, but bear in mind you will need to use more felt as you will be WRINGING out a lot more water. This paper will have MUCH more texture.

COLORINGS

The main way is adding different colored paper to an otherwise white batch. This next set of paper I’m working with is 5 sheets of white tissue paper mixed with 2 red, thus making a pretty vibrant pink. (since it’s tissue paper the end product is more delicate)

The wet paper is always more vivid/brighter than the end product.

Finished Product:

Clothing dye is another option. (use gloves)

You could add in food coloring which is what is used for construction paper. (use gloves)

Plant stuffs can be added to alter the color, like rose petals. Red rose petals will produce beautiful purple/pinkish paper.

With all of these methods you will have color loss with time and direct sunlight. For a truly archival color, you will have to use archival dyes which are pretty pricey.

NOTE: These items can also change the PH Balance of your paper. (we will discuss that later)

If using liquid dyes or dye packs add them to the water following their directions. If using fibrous plant stuffs, add them to the MASH. Do this during blender phase if you want bits and more color. Do this after blender phase  if you want more texture and pops of color.

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Be sure to join us next week for more of Recycled Artisan Paper.  The next installment of Kris’ presentation will cover Creative Deckles and Embossing.

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper, Part II

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

This is the second installment of Kris Jean’s handmade paper how-to. Today we feature The Basics, The Sifter Method and Drying Techniques.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

The Basics

This first batch of paper I’m going to make is from an entire Family Circle Magazine and red gift wrap from Christmas that is the same consistency.

First thing you need to do is get your dishpan and fill it 2/3 with water. I prefer to use distilled water to keep out extra chemicals and minerals which might degrade your paper. Thus making it last that much longer.

Though the paper you are recycling has more than likely been treated or exposed to bleach, other miscellaneous chemicals and minerals during its processing and/or printing. We want to keep this down to a minimum when recycling it. Since the paper has already been processed once there is no need to beat a dead horse.

Next we will make our MASH or wet paper.

Now take your paper and cut it into roughly quarter sized bits, or you can tear it. When choosing your paper to recycle; keep in mind your finished product is no better than what you put in it. It’s also a good idea to recycle the same style of paper at one time – this will give you a more consistent final product and more strength.

NOTE: Printed papers like newspaper and magazines result in grey paper. This is what real recycled paper looks like. If you purchase white recycled paper it’s probably been bleached or was pre consumer scraps. I added the red Christmas paper to give it a slightly pink cast.

Place paper in dishpan of water and swish it around, mixing it thoroughly. The goal is to separate any papers that might have clumped together and ensure everything is going to get nice and wet. In ideal circumstances you should let this sit overnight. This way the water penetrates and loosens up the wood fibers in the paper. If this is not possible you can proceed after an hour of soaking, however for thicker starting paper it will be required.

At this point you could actually take this mash and make paper. It won’t hold together well because the fibers will not be interwoven enough to give it strength and it will flake apart at the seams. So in order to ensure our fibers get fully interwoven we need to make SLURRY.

Slurry is paper fibers that are submerged in water, ready for pressing/molding etc. In simple terms, it’s a big mess of wet paper that looks like a nasty sour milk shake.

To make our slurry, we need to pour off the water into a separate bowl (it will be nasty but we are not done with it yet). Use a cup or simply dip the blender vessel into the water and fill it approx halfway. Take a couple of handfuls of the wet paper (without squeezing) and add it in. Be sure to put the cover back on the blender or you will have a H-U-G-E mess.

Use your pulse until it is a nice homogenous mixture of small bits of fiber with juice. As you look at it you might notice it starts to separate. This is ok. It’s natural for the buoyancy of the paper fibers to take over, some will float some will sink, depending on the paper you use.

Normally to really get the paper mishy-mashy I pulse it about 10 times at 10 seconds each.  Due to blender differences, this might be longer or shorter for you. How long you run it can affect your outcome; Longer will lead to softer, weaker paper. Shorter can result in stronger, larger see-able bit paper. The biggest variable is your starting paper.

Now that we have made our first batch of SLURRY, pour it into the empty dishpan. Go back and repeat making more slurry until you have used all of your paper mash. If needed add more water if you run out.

It’s very important not to overload your blender with too much MASH and not enough water. It will not make a fine enough SLURRY to really be effective and it can kill your blender. (My blender is a $2 garage sale find specially purchased for this purpose)

Using your hand agitate all the slurry together from all your batches. Let it stand for a few minutes. Depending on the material you started with, you might notice a black/grey film start to rise to the top. This is an inky residue kind of like soap scum. Use you hand as a skim and drag it across the top. Once you get to the other side slowly drag your hand along the side to the top and wipe it off your hand. This will keep that mess from tinting/affecting our paper further.

Now it’s time to grab our DECKLE. A deckle is the screen contraption we are going to use to make our paper sheets. They are readily available for sale online.

To make this deckle, I stapled the wire screening along the outside edge and wrapped it around. It’s been around the block a few times so it’s well loved and a quick made one. You can spend as much time as you like to make yours – I made this one in less than a minute.

When choosing what you are going to make your DECKLE from it is important to remember these three things:

1. Can the water get through?

2. How long will it last if it works amazingly and I want more later?

3. What size of paper do I want?

If you use an 8×10 frame with 6×8 opening – your end result paper will more than likely be 6×8. The opening is the most effective area to make the paper.

Sifter Method

The sifter method is used for thinner papers. (Keep in mind most of the paper you make will not be as thin as it was when you put it in the mash.) Homemade paper is generally the thickness of 3 or four sheets of paper. This is due to not having hydraulic presses and other machinery to smash the living daylights out of the paper.

Put your deckle in to the slurry all the way to the bottom screen side up. Using two hands slowly move it side to side, gradually lifting it out of the slurry.

Once out let it drip for a few seconds. This is your first piece of paper – albeit it a wet mess.

For a nice uneven rustic deckle edge, I use my thumb and roll bit of paper off all along the edges, usually the width of the frame it’s self. For a regular deckle edge I just leave it as is. For a straight edge, cut it after it’s dry.

This leaves me with paper the size of the opening. A deckle edge is like the thumb print of homemade paper; its thinner and shows the fibrous nature of the paper.

This wet paper is very fragile and will stick to just about anything at this point. Don’t try to press it with your hands or use your roller just yet.

Now we are going to WRING the paper. Wringing the paper means to press the water out of it.

Place a large piece of felt (mine is doubled over) over it and then use your hand to press the water out. Do not lift the felt. If you use colored felt, wash it first or dyes will bleed on to your paper depending on its color. I had issue with purple felt leaving a nasty yellow residue of all things. Lesson learned.

After you wring with your hand as much water as you can, switch over to the roller. This dual one I got from my Grandmother Dorothy many years ago. It really fits the bill size-wise. Hold the deckle at a 45 degree angle to the dishpan and work from the top to the bottom. The water will gradually make its way down and drip out. (hard to do and hold a camera)

The water will bleed through. This is ok.

Now we are going to remove the paper from the deckle.  We are going to use more dry felt to wring our paper. Slowly lift one corner and peek. If you are lucky the paper will be stuck to the felt and not the deckle. If it is attached to the felt slowly lift it off the deckle, keeping the paper attached to the felt. If it’s not attached to the felt, use your fingernail to slowly lift a corner of the paper and push it on the felt – then continue pulling the felt back slowly leaving the paper attached to the felt.

If it decides to cling to the deckle, flip it over and press with your hands from the bottom of the deckle and repeat the above steps.

Once the paper is off the deckle, lay it felt side down. Place another piece of felt on top of it and use your roller.

The paper should want to stick to the dryer sheet of felt, this is what we want. If it doesn’t flip it over and do it in reverse. Remove the wet one and squeeze out the water back into the dishpan.

Take yet another sheet of felt and wring the paper one last time.

Allow to dry

Drying Techniques

Drying really is not that hard, as long as the paper is wrung well.

If you have, it’s more than half way dry already. You can pick it up, and could literally hang it on a clothes line if you wanted.

To dry your paper you can leave it on a new dry piece of felt (make sure it’s dry), but as a result your paper will warp as it dries and will need to be flattened. I would not recommend drying under a heavy weight as this will lengthen drying time too long and yucky things can happen!

As a personal choice I dry my paper on plastic transparencies. I bought a pack of 50 at a garage sale for a quarter. On my final step, I lay the transparency on top of the new sheet of paper and WRING it one last time with the roller. The new paper will easily stick to it. I lay them about the house and they dry relatively flat. Thicker papers will tend to roll and warp. You can hang them or tape them up to get them out of your way. It’s very convenient and won’t mar the paper.

Don’t think you can make thinner papers by WRINGING it between two transparencies.  It just makes a mess – or paper lace if you are a glass half full kind of person.

With the transparencies, you can also use painters tape to ensure flat paper by taping the edges of the plastic down. More often than not, it won’t curl itself off the paper (at least for me) and it’s still a snap to remove. You can even hit it with a blow dryer if it’s taped down. But be warned using heat with certain additives will turn them brown or weaken colors (dried or live flowers, herbs, etc…)

Another way to dry your paper is sandwiching the new paper between two felt pieces and drying it with an iron (steam keeps it wet so no steam) – this method ensures a flatter paper – but again using too much heat can kill your colors and your additives. To flatten your air dried paper, you could also put it in your flower press if you have one, or between the pages of a phone book.

For me, the best method is air drying. In about 10 hours (more or less depending on thickness) the paper is ready to go and it didn’t use any further resources (energy).

If you can’t find transparencies, you can test lots of different things to dry your paper on. Some people use Formica.  If trying something new check it often for signs of sticking. So far I’ve only found one thing that my paper stuck to and that was the bottom of a pizza pan. It took me a bit to remove it.

Now if your paper is too wet when it comes to drying you will see the edges (or bumps) start to darken as the water evaporates. This uneven coloring is the main side effect, but if it’s SUPER wet mold/mildew could set in because it’s taking to long to dry.

For clean up you can a couple of seed packets to the slurry. (after the blender!!)

Mix, then pour some slurry seed mix into a flower pot that has soil already in it. The slurry will act as a top layer of soil (water often). You can also add seeds and mold the slurry into small balls and toss them randomly into your back yard for flower seed bombs. Another option is adding seeds, and make additional pieces of paper (seed paper), and wring softly as to not crack the flower seed casings.

Do not pour down drains as it WILL clog any screens in pipes. Non seed options for clean up include pouring off water, and squishing the Slurry into balls then toss in the trash or put them in your recycle bin after dry. AGAIN, do not pour down drains.

NOTE: Since they are paper, these papers will accept the same medias, but might absorb it slightly differently and not as uniformed (like water media or markers) but work VERY well with acrylics and all types of regular glues you use in your art.

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Be sure to join us next week for more of Recycled Artisan Paper.  The next installment of Kris’ presentation will cover The Pouring Method.

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

We begin with the introduction and a supplies list.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

Hi everybody and welcome to LIVE! In this installment, we are going to explore different techniques for recycling paper and junk mail, to use in arts & crafts projects, mixed media fine art, and beyond.

Making paper is messy, but very simple. The techniques are tried and true, but it takes practice to get good results consistently. What works for me, may not be the standard method because I like to do things cheaply. There is no process to this that is set in stone. Feel free to expand and experiment. Do what feels natural.

I have been recycling my own studio paper for several years now. This is paper from left over projects, watercolor paper trimmings even left over other recycled paper noogies. I do this purely for fun and to cut down the waste from my studio – and I use it for art, and crafty things for family and friends.  Usually paper/cardboard from my household use is dropped off at a paper recycling bin at the local school, as White Settlement does not have an active recycling program for its residents. (BOO!)

The paper I make is used in my own mixed media projects, handmade cards, seed paper, and other nifty little things. I take what I don’t use to work and let the kiddies have a go with it too. When creating your own papers – the sky is the limit!! I’ve made paper out of rose petals and even lint!

Above all else – be creative!

Basic Materials

Paper to be recycled (Stay away from super high gloss papers, waxy papers, papers with adhesives, plastic or hard paint)

Dishpan

Large Bowl

Water

Blender

Scissors

Window Screen Material (I prefer metal over vinyl)

Lots of Felt or Absorbent Material

Rolling Pin or Similar (wood will warp over time because of the water – so don’t use your GOOD one)

Old Wood Picture Frame

Stapler or Staple gun (depending on the hardness of the wood)

Some basic supplies:

Some more advanced supplies (we will have fun with later):

Please join us tomorrow, January 22nd, for The Basics, The Sifter Method and Drying Techniques!

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

Tips of the trade: on shipping art

by EBSQ Guest Author Aja Trier


Ok. Since my Quit Your Day Job article was published on the Etsy Storque I’ve had a number of inquiries on how to ship paintings from new sellers. I’m going to post this here (mostly so it’s easy to find as I get more inquiries) but maybe someone will come across it and find it to be useful 🙂

I know the shipping aspect can be intimidating at first and can seem rather daunting. I actually go back and forth between shipping through a local shipping place and doing it myself, it depends on the time I have and the size of the painting. I’ve built a repertoire with the place I ship through over the past 4 years or so and finally took the plunge a few months back and it’s helped to have someone who can wrap up and take care of the really big ones instead of me fooling and fussing with it at home. When I do it I buy frame boxes and bubble wrap from them, there’s a bunch of sizes to choose from and I buy a good amount at a time. I have an account with FedEX and USPS.com and I have them pick the packages up. The accounts were easy to set up and it’s really convenient. You can also print shipping labels through paypal – hee’s there help explanation on their site – https://www.paypal.com/helpcenter/main.jsp;jsessionid=KT0DSyptYvvv5wHXdQynbdQplDtrc4WJGzS52hfKb4G8KJQn5ppC!-685170754?locale=en_US&_dyncharset=UTF-8&countrycode=US&cmd=_help&serverInstance=9004&t=solutionTab&ft=searchTab&ps=solutionPanels&solutionId=10773&isSrch=Yes

It’s really quite simple. You do need a scale – I got mine at Walmart for 10 bucks.

Larger paintings should really go through FedEX because of the cost and the shipping “zones”. 16×20 I’d send through FedEX. 11×14 can go just fine through the postal service.

For all of my small shipments (anything up to 12×12 or so) I use the free boxes you can get through the post office. You can order some online for free – they are for Priority shipments though so if you plan on sending your paintings first class you can’t use the free boxes. I always send Priority when I use USPS because it looks more professional and is faster for the most part. Here’s a link to order free Priority boxes – http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductCategoryDisplay?catalogId=10152&storeId=10001&categoryId=13354&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=11820&top_category=11820&WT.ac=13354

The place I go to for my other boxes orders theirs from uline and sells them to me at cost. It’s good to start a relationship with a local place cause there can definitely be perks! Take a day and shop around. A really large box for me costs 16.00 – that’s for a 36×46 box, unfortunately sometimes you gotta cut um down since they don’t always have the size you need) I have heard some people go to Michaels and get their boxes on garbage day, but you have to be there at the right time – they wouldn’t hold them for me and it was like 20 miles for me so I just broke down and bought them outright. But that is an option.

When I am wrapping it myself I wrap the painting in plastic and tape it to secure moisture from compromising the painting. Then a layer of bubble wrap is tightly wrapped around and taped. Another layer of bubble wrap is then wrapped around the first, bubble to bubble, creating a “pillow” that is extremely effective in securing the painting from damage. The pillow is then placed in a sturdy mirror box for shipment with more bubble wrap or paper if needed.

Please copy and paste this URL in your browser to see how these “pillows” look just before shipment – http://tinyurl.com/5ws4ah

Note that with international shipping, to most countries the largest stretched canvas you can send is 22×28 through the postal service. The postal service has strict dimensional guidelines – length+girth (a tape measure wrapped around the middle of the box gives you the girth) can’t be any larger than 79 inches. This includes Australia, a popular shipping destination. For places with the 79 inch cut off I offer taking the painting off the stretchers and rolling it in a tube. This doesn’t always work though. I can’t do this with gallery wrapped canvas, only with canvas that has staples on the back – I can take staples out of the canvas. Can’t rip it from that groove the higher end canvases have, and I won’t cut the canvas from the stretchers. It’s best to advise your patrons of these things so they are aware. That’s why in my shop I only show US and Canadian shipping prices for larger works. Canada has a 108 inch cut off, so pieces up to 24×36 can go through USPS. Any larger and it has to be sent through FedEX or UPS – which for an international destination can be a couple hundred easy. If a patron is willing to pay the actual shipping cost then by all means. But it really is exorbitant!

It looks like a lot to take in, and initially it is – but after doing it a while you’ll become a pro and it will be second nature 🙂 Best of luck!

Be sure to check out Aja’s blog at Sagittarius Gallery

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

How to add a PayPal button to your EBSQ Art Portfolio

by guest contributor Torrie Smiley

First, let me warn you~  I have had no formal computer training.   There is no computer lingo in the instructions and lots of pictures!

image001

Listing from EBSQart.com Gallery

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Upload/Edit Art Case

You can add a PayPal button through editing your item or when you initially add your item to your Art Case.

Fill in the appropriate information for your listing.  I like to include a brief description about the composition, the specifics regarding materials used, and the purchasing and shipping details.  I separate these paragraphs with the funny symbol

This tells the computer to insert a space between the paragraphs.  I also use the curly-cue at the upper left of the keyboard and stars to separate different sections of the listing.  If you notice at the end of the listing after the PayPal button, I have included an EBSQ counter so I can watch the views of the listing.

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Select the tab for Merchant Services

Under Create Buttons in the center left column, select/click Buy Now

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You are now ready to create your PayPal button!

Fill in Item name.  I enter the title of my painting and the size.  Just to the right, I enter the painting name in the Item ID box.

Now, fill in the Price for your item.

Continuing down the page……

image009

Next, enter your Shipping.  In my listings, I use a flat shipping fee that I enter by selecting Use Specific amount.

~~Don’t be frightened by the “pop-up” shipping information, just click it off if it does not apply to you~~~ (I always click it off)

You have now completed the basic information for a PayPal button and can select the Create Button.

(There are other options on this page that don’t pertain to me…but may to you; fill out these areas if you need them included with your PayPal information.)

Here is the “code” for your PayPal button:

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Select/Click on Select Code.  This will highlight all of the text in the box.  “Right click” your mouse to copy.

Now, go back to you listing in your EBSQart.com Art Case:

image0031

Select the spot on your listing (artist statement for this piece) where you would like your PayPal button to be and “right click” and “Paste”

All done…..sort of…..

On my listings, I like everything separated out to make it easier to read on smaller computer screens.

The <p> is the symbol to add a space and I do this before I paste the PayPal code and at the end of the code to set the button apart with spaces.

Save your listing, and then check out your button on “View my Profile” public view. 

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To make sure everything works as expected, open the listing as if you were a buyer and click your new button. 

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If you were successful with your button creation, you should arrive at a log in screen to PayPal.com with your painting information at the top.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You can now sell your art directly from your gallery.  Pay attention to your emails from PayPal.  That is how you will know you have a sale!

One final note: once you DO make that sale, make sure to remove your button from your listing, or someone could try to buy the same item again!

Torrie Smiley

Have a useful hack for the EBSQ website? Drop us a line; we’d love to share it in our blog!

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

This month’s EBSQ Live: Recyled Artisan Paper

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Kris Jean
Monday, March 9th, at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

A Day or Two by Kris Jean
A Day or Two by Kris Jean

The art of making paper has been around for ages. Recycling paper at home is starting to gain interest again with the new found “Green” attitude we are experiencing lately.

Kris will show you the basics of how to recycle junk mail and scrap paper to make one of a kind artisan papers for use in your art, including easy to understand definitions, using additives and proper drying techniques.

About the presenter

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Please Make a Note of the Time by your Zone:

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!