Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Using Rice Paper

Lately I have been working with a fair amount of rice paper applications to my paintings. At first I was just crumbling it up, wetting it and letting it dry like that. Then I would spread it out and using acrylic medium apply it to the painted canvas (you can see examples of this in earlier posting on this blog or on my web site in the Contemplation Series). But my work has progressed from there...I am now using any left over paint to paint the rice paper or even to just clean off brushes. Below is a photo which shows a stack of various weights of painted paper. Some is thin like tissue and other is thick. Some I purchased in sheets and other in a roll. You might be able to see some of my paintings in a few of these...

Sometimes, I don't use the rice paper for cleaning brushes, but will use it to take prints from a wet canvas. Like I have said before, I will apply the paint thickly to a canvas, then press a series of rice papers over the wet paint and lift it off...sometimes doing it more than one time. I love the different textures and looks you can get depending on how the paper is removed.

The example below shows a couple of "liftings" from a canvas. You can see the lines of the overlap. One thing which was interesting about this was I applied the paint thickly onto the canvas directly from the tubes or tubs. When I first took a lift, there was no white visible. With a couple of other lifts, the white magically appeared. It was so much fun to see this happen.

Other times I do not do it this way. Below you will see some thin "tissue" rice paper. This was hanging up (see the clothes pins - pegs - in the photo). I liked the way the blues and paynes gray worked on this particular paper. When I had a thin brush in the cream paint, I hit it with a few gestural marks. I do not know any Asian language, so if this says something, it is completely coincidental (if you know it says something, please let me know).

I have this one in the back of my head to use in some way. I am just not sure yet how it will play out.

So how about you? Do you have a stack of "papers" (maybe not in paper form, either...I also have a collection of dry acrylic paint blobs) which influence your work? And is happenstance appealing to you?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Unknown said...

Kim, I love these experiments with randomly coloured rice-paper, especially the last blue-paynegrey one with it's gestural marks. Looking forward to what you will do with it. The other one with the white marks is interesting too! It is all very inspiring because I have messed up 5 or 6 canvases last weekend, in a fury, now they are standing there, in a colour like salmon-orange, not what I want them to look like, I have overpainted three mask-faces which were quite ok but making me angry standing there in the corner looking sour. :)
So, perhaps I should put my hand to some material again, like paper or cloth, and go at it with new energy but at the same time I find it difficult to hop from the watercolour to the acrylic paints and to "heavier" material. Perhaps this would be different if I had a huge studio, where I could wander from one special corner into the other, have tea with visitors on the special studio sofa beside the special coffee table on which there would be a large vase with 100 tulips in different colours and then I'd slam paint onto large canvases whenever I feel like it and .............oh well, forget it, if I can't do it here, I can't do it anywhere:)
Thanks so much for the inspiration , as always, and the fun, enjoy your day

Andrea and Kim said...

Oh I hear you about the larger studio! That would be lovely, wouldn't it? I think that is one reason I paint a little while, then come down to the computer to work... studio upstairs and computer downstairs. I do think our environments make a huge impact on what we produce and what we do not!

I am glad you liked the inspiration today. It has been working well for me.

Hang in there with the paintings...it will work out. Sometimes we just have to live with something before we see what we need to see. The inspiration comes when we are ready to receive it!

Thanks Again, Andrea!

david mcmahon said...

How thought-provoking. Paper is crucial to me, as a novelist and as a photographer and as a watercolour artist.

Now I'm off to buy photographic rice paper with emulsion, to print some more arty photos!

Stay tuned ....

Andrea and Kim said...

Yes, you are a paper man! I just love all kinds of paper...the feel of it just excites me a lot. Fabric will do the same thing from time to time.

Ohhh, photographic rice paper sounds fantastic! You know I will be watching your blog closely!

Thanks David!

Wurzerl said...

Dear Kim,
another interesting post - rice paper!!! The right paper is a very important thing! Smooth (?) paper can be necessary to do for example a wood engraving. But mostly it' s boring and dead. It cann't work for itself.
Rice paper is alive and works. Sometimes it' s a great surprise, when it works more then you planed.
I think you understand what I mean (I hope so). I prefer rice paper when I paint in the Asian style. So I can tell you that the white part in your blue picture isn' t a word in the Asian language. Only the both of horizontal strokes shows the figure "2" two.
I think paper with structure like the rice paper is good for your style and your temperament. Aries need the provocation.
Have a good time Wurzerl

Anonymous said...

Ups... just in same moment I wanted to send up a very long comment, your comment came in my blog, and I losed my comment. Once more, but not so long. First thank you for your idea, I had the same when I saw the headgear.
I think the rice paper is a very good material for Aries. I take only this one for my Chinese Painting. It is alive, it is working, it is a surprise and very often an accident, it is an adventure, and Andrea, you and me,we need this provocation to work.
The both of horizontal strokes are the first number of our birthday, the 2 (two), it's the only statement in your blue picture.
Happy Easter for you Wurzerl

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Wurzerl,

First of all, thank you for letting me know my marks may mean only "2" and that is only a part of it! After I did that, I wondered if I had maybe said something offensive with those marks!

Rice paper is fabulous, you are right. I does provide challenges, but only because it also provides clarity! I just adore the way it works in concert with the paint...without control. The colors are far more "surprising" with this wonderful surface!

I love papers, but lately rice paper has been the one calling to me loudly.

Did you read where David is going to be printing some photos on rice paper? Isn't that lovely.

You are right...the challenge is a great motivator!

And a Lovely Easter to You, Dear Wurzerl.

Elis Cooke said...

Hi Kim
I am in love with rice paper... and hopelessly addicted to playing with paint on paper... from taking prints of my journals, to dripping and spraying... i love the way paper takes paint-- such that more and more I am adhering rice paper to my canvases before I start working. namaste Elis.

Simone Maynard said...

i am a big fan of rice paper. i used to use a lot in my work for collage... now its old pages from waitress order pads!
thank you for your kind comments Kim.

Andrea and Kim said...

Elis, I never know where this journey will lead me, but I have to say right now I am having a great time with this paper. I can see how you are wanting to use the canvas as a base only for your work!

Thanks so much!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Simone! Rice paper is very cool. Old pages from your waitress order pads is very fitting for your work right now! I can't wait to see some of these paintings.

I love reading your blog, Simone!

fiona long said...

These are wonderful Kim and it's so fascinating to hear about your process! I like tonking (lifting paint off with a sheet of paper) from time to time! It can be a great way of pushing a painting forwards when there's too much paint on there to keep going without making it muddy. Some wonderful happy accidents and great textures can happen. I imagine your motivation is slightly different as acrylics dry so much quicker than oils! I've occasionally kept these bits of paper and put them in a sketch book or in a collage but haven't really thought of incorporating them into a painting. What a good idea! I have painted tissue paper into a painting for texture in the past but I've given up on that for the time being because I'm worried it's a bit obvious what I've done.

I think it's so important to keep pushing and experimenting. You're creating wonders Kim! Keep at it! And thank you so much for your posts. They are so inspiring!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Fiona! And I have learned a new word for what I do...tonking! I really love using that technique a lot. You are so right about it not going muddy when you do that. I do have to work a lot faster, I am sure, than you would with oils.

Well, go right ahead and pop them right into your paintings! You know I think it is cool to use different things to create different textures...do you think your professors would have something negative to say about you using the tissue?

Thanks, Fiona! I really appreciate all the lovely things you have to say here. The posts would be nothing without these comments!

Thanks Again!


Lynette said...

Kim, I have really been wanting to try some of the rice papers, especially after seeing these lovely works you did with the great textures and colors! I had a little bowl of dried acrylic shapes because when I open the tube, there is always dried paint on the top with the little hole around the opening. One of these days I'm gonna use those in a painting!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Lynette! Oh do purchase some and give it a try. They are everywhere now with the surge in the sumi work. The paper takes color so beautifully. Hey, I know those shapes! I can imagine you are going to come up with something really wonderful to use those little bits with! You know I am watching!

Thanks Again, Lynette for popping in to see me!

Filomena Booth said...

Hi Julianne,

Glad to see that you are experimenting with a variety of textures and rice paper!

Here's something you might like to try:

Take a piece of brown kraft paper, wet it and wad it up in your hand. Drop fluid acrylics (I like Golden Fluids), metallics and iridescent fluids into the wad. Mush it in your hand and then flatten it out, let it dry. I've used pieces in collages with great success, and you will too!


~Babs said...

VERY interesting post! I really enjoy reading about everyone's use of paper.I have done a few monotypes by tonking.Loads of fun,,and always a surprise.
I also have a collection of those little paint blobs from the end of the tubes!
Some of them have fascinating shapes, and I'm sure that one of these days they'll end up as part of a painting.

Andrea and Kim said...

Filomena, It is Kim here.

I really appreciate your thought on using the metallics with the kraft paper! I can imagine that would produce a great look!

Thanks so much for your comment here. I hope you will return to read more.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Babs!

I can just imagine you there in your studio trying out all kinds of techniques now! I know I am going to be!

As for those little rings...I don't have any of those, but my mind is racing about how they might be used. See what you all do to me? Ha Ha Seriously, I keep wondering why I haven't bought more tubes of paint or why I am not getting the rings! Oh, well...I know why, you and Lynette are suppose to be using the rings in your work...not me!

I can't wait to see what you do next!

It is great to hear form you again.