I absolutely adore paper of all kinds--crisp brilliant white; slick, shiny YUPO; brown Kraft; fancy, textured fine art--the list is endless. Whenever I find myself seeking a creative spark, nothing jump starts it faster than browsing the scrapbook and fine art paper section of my local art supply store. There are so many color combinations, patterns, textures, and thicknesses--from whisps of tissue thin rice papers to chunky woolen fiber papers--that the closet door to my inspirational creativity is ripped from its hinges and the contents of its infinite possibilities are scattered about for my choosing.
One of my favorite ways to use fine art paper is as part of a mixed media painting. Fine art paper contains visible fibers such as yarn and cotton, and often uses natural items such as leaves, flowers, and tree bark to enhance pattern and texture. These patterns and textures lend themselves to unique backgrounds and provide interesting depth and dimension to pieces. Often, the paper itself inspires the subject of the piece, rather than serving as a mere addition. Though I am just beginning my exploration of mixed media in larger paintings, my art cards (5" x 7") illustrate the use of fine art paper in smaller mediums.
Even my art photography is touched by my obsession with paper. Did you know that aside from being printed on canvas that photos can be printed on museum quality velvet fine art paper--a cotton fiber paper that lends a marvelous texture and visual quality to the image? This paper looks and feels professionally luxurious, and is a great surface for creating prints of my original paintings. When framed, the paper elevates these prints to a unique and professional artwork in their own right.
The beauty of fine art paper is that the creative uses are as limited as the imagination. Fine artists and photographers may use it for mixed media, art mats, or frames, while others may use it for book covers, gift wrap, or even as a way to enhance a piece of furniture. Who knows--maybe one day my paper obsession will lure me completely away from acrylic painting. But for now, I will keep my options open.