Cut Paper Art #2 / by Leslie

Here's my other cut paper canvas. I posted my first one last month. This one is certainly more Christmas-y. I found, while working with these, that it was very similar to tanagrams. Have you ever played with those? It's so natural for our brains to try to work out familiar objects from geometric shapes that are placed together. I had to change the pattern a few times in the one above because it resembled a face a little too much.

These would make great hand made Christmas gifts! All you need are pre-stretched painting canvases (10x10"), liquid acrylics in bronze or gold, stiff paper in different patterns and colors (magazine and catalog covers work well), scissors or an Exacto knife with a metal ruler and some white glue.

You can use any shapes you like, ranging from identical shapes to completely abstract. I found that working with all identical shapes created patterns that were too uniform, so I cut some of the triangles to make derivative shapes. If you cut shapes that are completely abstract it might be more challenging to fit them together, but would probably lead to some interesting results. I might try that next.

After the paint is dry on the canvas and the shapes are cut, pre-arrange the shapes until you find a pattern you like. Then glue each piece down one at a time, starting from the center and working your way out to the edges. White glue will dry clear, but do try to be careful that you don't get glue everywhere. Wipe and smooth areas that have too much glue. I used a book binding glue, but Elmer's glue will work too.

The canvases look great on their own or side by side as a pair. I am feeling like a frame of some kind would make them look a little more finished, because the canvases that I bought have the staples on the side instead of on the back. If you want to leave the canvases unframed, try to find pre-stretched canvases that are stapled on the back and paint the edges too.

I'd love to hear what you think of these! For the first one, I cut up an illustration that was pretty abstract to begin with, but for this canvas, I cut up a very recognisable object. Can anyone guess what the original images were? Leave me a comment to make your guess!