Decorating background papers - ideas for you to try

13 July 2015

I haven't shared a video for a while, but I think that's mostly because my own web wanderings have been a bit curtailed of late.  It's been rather busy here, what with one thing and another. 

But, dear reader, panic not for normal service is being resumed. 

And Lin and Leandra of Paper Artsy have recently posted this video which I thought worth sharing - it's such a neat way to get colour down onto a background.

When I'm doing background papers I often use the Brayer to add paint, another little trick I learnt from Leandra, but this could be worth exploring too. 

I'm not a stamper, by the way. It's just not my thing. Or rather fine commercial stamps are not for me. I do make my own foam print blocks. 

And while we're on the subjects of backgrounds, you might find this one useful too. 

I particularly like printing page, but see what you think. 


  1. I rather liked the crackle technique. Like the mandala one the least so I had to laugh when, after the stamping, she giggled and said how much she liked it! I thought it would improve when she started adding embellishments and doodles but frankly, thought it made things worse. Well, to each her own. As always, was fun to watch these videos and get ideas.

    1. I am not a fan of her 'style' I must admit. But I do love her 'devil may care' attitude and the fact that she never seems to be self critical. That said, you do have to be a bit self critical it seems to me, but a 'what if' attitude to sketchbooks and trialling things out must be a good thing.

    2. It's true - you can hear it in her voice and how she's kind of talking to herself as she makes these videos, and then remembers others are listening in. It's a very infectious style of creating tutorials and tempts one to join in with her just try it style. Her art journals are obviously not meant to please anyone but herself and she seems very easy to please! But I do think there has to be a balance between accepting everything as good and being afraid to try something because it might turn out bad. I think one of the reasons I like Pam's art journaling book is because every lesson she expects you to critique what you've done for the good and the bad. I think that internal let's be honest is what's missing in so much of the art quilting and multi-media art being put out there these days.

      I have to say I also like the spread she did with the square sponge. I saved a square of styrofoam that had been a cheap Christmas decoration, removing the felt add-ons and wondering if it could be used as a stamp. I see now that yes, definitely, and there is a color scheme that really spoke to me too. I sometimes just need to see how someone uses something to create a background. I'm still not at a point where I can think past the most obvious and boring things.

    3. I have heard of Pam's book - at least I think I have. Is that 'Art at the Speed of Life'?

      I know what you mean too about being a bit more critical. I do look for 'beauty' in things. (Though also a like work which has an 'edge', which is why I am such a fan of Annabel Rainbow and her quite amazing series of 'Life' quilts.) So I get what you mean about some of the mixed media work in particular. It is quite easy just to stick some old junk down onto paper and call it mixed media art, and it isn't. Its just some old junk stuck onto paper! (oh, I sound all arts racist now, don't I?)

      Anyway, I have an unexpected day in the studio today, so a bit of playing with my sketch book might happen. I few backgrounds for later. We will see.

      Thanks for stopping by. I love to know that you read my witherings from over there in Idaho.


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