Terri Codlin
Mixed Media

E-mail: terricodlin@charter.net

I have always been fascinated with fabrics and paper. My artwork is an expression of my love for color, patterns and texture. Handmade papers today are readily available on the internet, art supply stores as well as from sources all over the world. As a former Montessori preschool teacher, I was able to create many of the materials that were used in my classroom. It was a wonderful outlet for my creative needs. When I retired that need was unfulfilled until I discovered the wealth of papers readily available and was immediately drawn to their beauty.

I "paint" with layers of paper, many of which are handmade and come from Japanese or Thai sources. These papers come in as many spectrums as fabric materials, allowing me to play with numerous different looks. I use watercolors, ink and dye to enhance the existing color of the paper, changing the visual texture that a paper has. I have a cache of prepared papers that I have stamped, inked, stenciled and embellished with color that I use as my palette. I concentrate now on incorporating recycled papers such as music scores, maps, receipts, hand written notes and rice paper. This creates a more personal ‘palette’ for me to create my images.

I use photographs as my inspiration. The first thing after selecting a subject is to prepare the underpainting of the piece. I sketch out the design and then use acrylic paints to do a basic underpainting which will guide me in color selections . Then I begin the process of tearing the papers and applying them with a Liquetex gel adhesive. Often papers overlap which gives a wonderful feeling of texture to the piece. Backgrounds are often covered with paper but depending on the subject and size of the piece might also be painted, spattered with acrylic fluids and paints, possibly stenciled or have other embellishments.

Every day continues to be an experiment in what can be done with these papers. Exploring various art mediums has been such a freeing experience. I am thoroughly captivated in the learning process as I improvise, experiment and take risks. The result is a feeling of incredible satisfaction and fulfillment. I feel just as my preschoolers did when they “connected” with the concept I was teaching. It is like having an inner light turned on.

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