Beth Rommel collages handmade paper to create delightful folk art images inspired by nature. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
As a child I drew pictures with my sister. The hours spent creating were enhanced by great art education in our schools and my parents’ love of the arts—lots of museum trips and art lessons. We didn’t need a lot of supplies.
It’s amazing how much time can pass with paper and pencils.
In the 1970s, Flairapy calendars and a set of Flair felt tip pens brought color into my command. On pages filled with patterns and swirling designs, with my “cool” Flair pens in hand, I fell in love with intricate images.
While completing my BFA in Studio Art at University of Tennessee, painting gave me a new way to decorate a canvas or paper. Those swirls and patterns kept coming. I used them on flying folk art figures and beach ladies in bright bikinis.
Beautiful fabrics, papers, illustrations, and artwork revved my visual appetite. I collected pages from magazines, photos from museums, anything to remind me of the decorative genius I was being introduced to.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
These pages gave me a new language to experiment with—collage. They reminded me of a project from high school art. The teacher, a Romanian enamel artist, asked me to create a piece of art with torn paper from magazines. I studied colors and variations in the hues and values to form my subject matter.
As I learned about Gelli Plate printing, I realized I could use these beautiful and magical papers, printed by my own hands, to bring collage to life. Rice paper, paint and a brayer are all I need to create colorful, swirling papers. A glue stick and scissors put it all together. It’s joyful, it’s forgiving and it’s such fun. I love that these papers cannot be duplicated by anybody else’s hands in anybody else’s studio. They are original.
Combining printing with my love of pattern and a fine tip pen, I can blast off with intricate lines, multiple colors and fanciful folk art subject matter.
The southern woods on the mountains in which I live offer continuous subject matter. Birdfeeders are filled with cardinals, chickadees, finches and the occasional goldfinch. Guinea hens live at a farm nearby, escorted by a large tom turkey and accompanying chickens. A heron flies from a spot by the river in search of a morning trout breakfast. Our butterfly garden brings insect subject matter in the summer. My artwork is populated with these creatures and our recently adopted COVID cats keep us company in the year of isolation.
Studio time is a great joy. In my third-floor aerie I feel tranquil and full of creativity. The isolation has been meditative and nurturing to my art practice. It is a gift, given to me, from heart to hands.
Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!