Paper Towel Art? Really??

Yes, really.  There is no reason on earth not to make use of some of your unappreciated but well-used background tools in your art.  They can make unique and funky additions to your mixed media, collage and art-journalling projects.

When I am using the ol' credit card  paint scraping technique to prepare a substrate (and I use this technique about every five minutes), I will often wipe the credit card off onto a paper towel before I use the card again for another color.  The same goes for brushes, my brayer and other tools.  The paper towel ends up looking pretty cool, so I've started incorporating them into my backgrounds.

Here's a couple of pieces of paper towel that have certainly earned their keep in my studio.

Close Up Of Paper Towel
 
Close Up Of Paper Towel

And here are a couple of scans of two journal pages (in the making) using paper towel (those are the pinky/orange areas of the pages).  I used Mod Podge under and over and the effect was that the paper towel almost melted into the background, leaving only the color and the interesting swirly pattern.  Cool, huh?

(Start Of) Two-Page Journal Page Spread


Paper Towel Scraps Are the Pinky/Orange Areas


Paper Towel Scraps Are the Pinky/Orange Areas

Close-Up Of Paper Towel On Journal Page

Close-Up Of Paper Towel On Journal Page

Close-Up Of Paper Towel On Journal Page

You can see why my studio ends up bursting at the seams with stuff.  It is hard to throw anything away, even the dirty ol' paper towels! By the way, many paper towels are double ply, so if you pull them gently apart and you'll double the cool pieces you'll have to add to your art.  The photos in this post are of two-ply paper towel.  My experimentation has shown that the colors on the paper towel sit up better when I don't separate the plies, but when I really want the paper to sink into the background, it's better to separate the plies.

Cheers!
Joanna

5 comments:

Kathy O' said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this! I have a whole stack of inky painty paper towels that I actually ironed (weird, I know) but they came out so cool and I was contemplating gluing them down. Now I will.

Kathy O' said...

Great idea!

Boo said...

Love your paper towel backgrounds. I use copy paper and tissue paper on occasion too. I hate to waste that pretty ink.

Joanna Grant said...

Great comments, ladies. I, too, use tissue paper and copy paper. Love the flimsy stuff for "melting" into the backgrounds.
Kathy, that's a great idea to iron it. Lord knows, I don't use my iron for anything remotely domestic so it's just sitting around doing nothing! Ha, ha!

Jackie said...

Great idea! And I have been throwing them away!