I use big (18"x 24") pads of decent drawing paper (Borden & Riley Vellum) to test colors and textures when I'm making paintings. I used to feel a bit guilty about 'wasting' decent paper that way, but it is a key part of my painting process, so I carry on.
One day, trying to solve a compositional problem, I cut a shape from my test paper and taped it to a painting to see how it worked instead of the shape I had painted there. This way of trying new compositions without making permanent changes on paintings' surfaces was fun! AND the more I looked at the energy and incidental force and flow of the marks on those papers, the more I liked them.
So I began to use them in my illustrations. Here, in a recent illustration for Walter Magazine...
the oyster shell was cut from one of my test papers. I added a little more directional movement to the shapes... and voilà.
I've fallen in love with the idea of using cut paper (as below)
Clearly, the painted shapes in my Iceland paintings are related in some way to these paper shapes. Though which came first? It's the old chicken and the egg conundrum.
So where does Norway fit in? In a few days, I'll be there and I'll be sketching. And I'll have some loose sheets of paper already painted on, in the colors and textures I know are what I see when I'm in Norway. As here, a glimpse of just some of these colors and these textures, in a sketch from a couple of years ago:
And in Norway, looking at that icy and snowy fabulousness and trying my best to capture SOMETHING of it, I will, among other techniques, cut shapes from these papers, as the spirit moves me ----and paste them into my sketchbook and draw and paint on and around them. And it will be fun!
Lots of people work with cut paper in their sketches and paintings.
I'm doing nothing new. Just new to me.
I can't wait. Rocks, paper, scissors, Norway... here I come!