Paper painting: Seniors at Colley Complex “paint” with paper
Published 6:25 pm Friday, August 22, 2014
Elvis Presley sang a song about looking out the window and seeing a bird way up in a tree.
Although that imagery is bright and cheerful, the song was actually a sad one. And, sometimes, looking out the window isn’t all that cheerful. In the dead of winter when the trees are bare and the clouds are dark or when the snow has turned to slush or the rain is pouring down, looking out the window may be a gloomy thing to do.
But, those who participated in the Paper Painting Workshop at the Colley Senior Complex this week, will always have bright and sunny days.
The “artists” painted bright and cheerful windows that will make any day a sunny day at their homes.
Kathy Grantham instructed the class on the art of paper painting, which, she said, is painting with tissue paper on glass. In this workshop, the glass “palettes” were the panes encased in old wooden window frames.
“Paper painting is done with tissue but there’s a trick to it,” Grantham said, giving no indication she was going to reveal the ‘trick.’
“Actually the process takes three stages: creating the design, the drying process and the finishing process. Much of the success of the painting depends on the kind of glue you use and several other things — tricks,” she said, with a smile. “Paper painting is petite mosaic art that anyone can do and be proud of what they have done.”
But paper painting is not as easy as it might seem, because the artist has to work in reverse.
The completed mosaic is transparent and has the appearance of stained glass.
Although the painting will be pretty from the back as well as the front, it is designed to be viewed from the front.
“That means that what would normally be painted last will be painted first and what normally would have been painted first will be painted last,” Grantham said. “So, paper painting takes thought and planning. But, when a paper painting is finished, it can be hung in the window where the light will shine through, on an inside wall or on the porch — anywhere that you want to add a little sunshine to your home.”
Linda Bolton said she has a friend who hung her paper mosaic in her bedroom.
“She said when she wakes up every morning, there’s sunshine in her window,” Bolton said.
Judy Baxter, laughingly, said paper painting is backbreaking work.
“It’s physical,” she said. “You have to work bending over and it’s not easy to do, but it’s fun, and you don’t have to be an artist to create something you’ll be proud of.”
No two mosaics created at the Paper Painting Workshop were the same, and each reflected the interest of the artist.
“You might not be an artist when you start but you’ll be one when you finish,” Beverly Casey said, laughing. “Every one of the windows turned out so pretty. What’s special about the window paintings is they can be done on old windows from places that have memories – like old home places or your grandparents’ house or other places from your past. But, even if the windows don’t have memories attached to them, they will created memories for you.”
The Paper Painting Workshop was a new offering at the Colley Senior Complex. The Complex is always adding new programs for the senior community. All those aged 50 and over are encouraged to visit the Complex on Elm Street in Troy to learn more about its programs and activities.