My earliest work focused on mixed media with the addition of a few elements of torn paper collage. As time went by, working with collage became second nature and is now my preferred medium. I still include mixed media into my work but you will find torn painted papers the main focus in all of them.
I find the process of tearing the papers and pasting them down onto the surface to create form, to be very much like sculpting. I enjoy the tactility of tearing the papers and find the whole process to be very theraputic.
I incorporate a wide variety of colours and textures into my work and through many hours of experimenting I've found that torn painted paper collage can offer a limitless supply of both.
The first stage of the collage process is the hand painting of the papers used within my work with quality acrylics and inks, using several techniques to create interesting marks, designs and textures. This allows for a broader choice and uniqueness in the colours of the papers I use rather than relying on purchasing ready coloured patterend papers. Hand painting the papers also has the added benefit of ensuring the work remains archival, unlike purchased ready coloured papers where the colours usually fade within months.
I use a variety of papers in my work such as mulberry, chinese calligraphy and japanese rice papers, preferring to use acid free media as much as possible to ensure my work remains archival. To add areas of interest you will often find found papers in my work too such as teabag wrappers, sheet music, stamps and texts and images from books that have some reference to the work I am creating . Even old road tax discs have found their way into my paintings. When I do use found papers which are generally not acid free, the polymer emulsion I use to paste the paper onto the surface prevents any oxidisation from occuring.
Each finish piece is coated with a UV varnish for protection and framed without glazing. This allows the viewer to fully appreciate the textures of the finished piece.