Thursday, March 22, 2012

Excavations

The paper purging continues, this time with my largest paper storage unit, these sixteen stacking trays.

When I bought these beasties a few years ago, hubby cut and sanded a piece of plywood to cap the top tray (there is a groove for it so it fits snugly) and the huge horizontal space immediately got filled with all my dye equipment and accessories.


The trays themselves have collected years and years and years worth of not only painted, marbled, stained, and dyed papers, but stacks of completed work that must be stored flat.

Each tray had originally been filled according to colors, but over the years things got shifted, moved, removed, and replaced, and finally, I gave up entirely on the idea of keeping order. As long as paper wasn't slopping out onto the floor, I could close my eyes and not acknowledge the mess it had become.

Digging through tray after tray, brutally deciding which papers stayed and which hit the recycle bin, was a revelation for me, like an archeological excavation into my artistic past. Some of the work I came across was done in the very early days of my creative exploration, more than ten years ago. Back then, the "preciousness" of every piece of paper I ever spalshed color onto overwhelmed my good sense in recognizing when something should be kept and something should be thrown out.


This week, that imbalance was corrected. One. Tray At. A. Time.


I found layers of fabulous colors that made me want to stop in my tracks, take out my glues and paints, and start collaging. I resisted the temptation, though, and kept digging.


As each tray was emptied and removed, its contents were distributed throughout stacks scattered all over the studio.





I found a lot of interesting stuff that I may soon take out and play with.




And some of them did get collaged into completed work.


And finally, after a LOT of dusty, heavy lifting, the storage unit has been tamed. For today.


 Happy weekend, happy creating!

6 comments:

Took said...

1. CONGRATULATIONS!

2. Wonderful post -- I love seeing other artist's studios, how they deal with clearing and sorting, etc.

3. Your post makes me want to take on my own paper files.

THANKS!

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Reading through your post I can hear that littel voice saying that I need to do just the same in my cramped little studio. The problem of using all kinds of stuff is that you have to keep everything. I had no idea that my little journey into other mediums would take so much space and I can imagine how it might develope during a decade.
I like your tray storage solution, lots of storage space without taking too much floor space.

Kit Lang said...

Thanks for the stacking trays link - I need something like that desperately!

Janelle said...

Good for you. It feels great when you finally get a job like this finished. It will be fun to see what projects you come up with using your pretty papers. I like your collage too.

elle said...

I must admit I luv tackling these kind of big jobs. So satisfying when they are done. How great that you can see your 'evolution' and are all inspired to keep going after the refreshing! good job!

Anna said...

How neat to see your process. Thanks for sharing! I wish I had been there to go through your trash, haha. (I'm still new to the world of paper and art journaling and all that) I also LOVE that collage piece you did, what a great way to make use of your new found treasures.