Watercolor and Japanese Paper Collage

Woodland Edges, Brenda Layman

I’ve begun working with a new medium – watercolor and Japanese paper collage. After being inspired by a collage video that I found online, I decided to try something like it.

First I sketch the picture, then transfer it to my watercolor paper, making changes as I like to enhance the composition. Next I decide upon my colors, and use watercolors to paint sheets of Japanese paper. I find this paper holds up very well to being wet, dried, and manipulated. Then I cut and tear the colored paper into small shapes which I piece together to create the picture I want.

Container of Flowers, Brenda Layman

The first one I completed, Woodland Edges, was inspired by iris and other plants growing along the creek that runs behind my house. The second, Container of Flowers, was based on a bowl of petunias and other plants that I have on my deck this summer. The third, Lavender with Bees, sprang from a sketch I made of the lavender growing in my pollinator garden, which is visited almost continually by the honeybees that live at the edge of the woods behind us.

Lavender with Bees, Brenda Layman

I love the way a myriad of tiny bits of paper can come together to give the impression of organic growth and movement. The vibrant colors speak to me of green growth, warm sunshine, and cool shade.

Last week I visited Columbus, Ohio’s Weinland Park district on a community garden tour, and I was struck by the beauty of these pockets of green in the middle of an urban area. I am planning a series of three collages based on grapes, apples, and berries I saw growing there. I’ll be sure to feature these in upcoming blogs.

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