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Using Paper to Create Works of Fine Art

by Jessica Nguyen 05/17/2020

Photo by Soroush Zargar on Unsplash

Fine art has typically been defined as any creative, visual art that requires great skill or accomplishment, and is created or appreciated solely to inspire imagination, evoke an aesthetic appeal, or to share intellectual content. But, today's modern artists are pushing the boundaries of what is considered fine art by incorporating elements from nature, found items, and even paper. Paper has always been used as a secondary art medium, but in the world of fine paper art - paper is the art!

We're talking about paper sculptures, paper filigree (or quilling), decoupage, 3D paper models, and paper pulp painting. Actually, the process of making paper has risen to an art form. Handmade paper is an intriguing process that can yield an endless variety of stressed paper that transforms texture, transparency, thickness, roughness, and color.  

Fine Paper Art as a Hobby or Craft

If you're looking for creative ways to spend your time, consider paper art as fun hobby to add structure to long hours at home. But, don't stop there! Paper art can be so intricate and so beautiful, that learning one of the many paper art skills can lead to a viable, money-making craft. Below, we've curated some links to outstanding paper artists that are certainly prospering from their skills at transforming paper into incredible pieces of art. 

You may have already explored scrapbooking or card making - two popular at-home crafts that have a very large and loyal following. But, scrapbooks and even the most beautiful, handcrafted greeting card are not what we're looking at here. 

Take for example, Michelle Samour an established multi-media artist who incorporates handmade paper to explore the intersections among science, technology, and the natural world. She created and layered hundreds of individual translucent pulp drawings of viruses to create piece that suggested both a microscope slide and a reflecting pool. The intention was to draw the observer in with its beauty, while inviting quiet contemplation about viruses’ global threat.

Or consider Yulia Brodskaya, an artist and illustrator known for her handmade elegant and detailed paper illustrations. The viewer is quickly struck by the way Yulia uses the edge color of folded or shaped paper strips to 'paint' with. This style of paper art is a subset of paper filigree that uses multiple strips and shapes of color paper to fill boundaries and is often referred to as 'paper-on-edge' artwork.

Paper can also be used as a sculpting medium that far exceeds what you may have experienced making paper mache animals in middle school art class. These paper sculptures feature fine detail that is painstakingly engraving into the paper while still a bit wet. Even building the paper model can be an exercise in patience, as shown in the finely detailed features of these bird paper sculpures. 

3-dimensional artwork can be created using cut and folded paper to create brilliant, abstract artwork as shown by this video illustration of 12 Pop-up Paper Sculptures by Peter Dahmen. All of these paper artists sell their work for hundreds of dollars. When you think about the price of paper, which is relatively cheap when compared to the expense required with other forms of fine art, paper crafting can bring a good profit after you've invested the time and patience in honing your skills. And best of all, this is a craft that children can also get excited about.

About the Author

Jessica Nguyen

"Buy, Sell, Invest with Confidence"

Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate journey or you know exactly what you're looking to do, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.

  • 2015 Pinnacle Award (Top 3 Agent/Broker in office)
  • 2017 Two Diamond Award at HomeSmart International
  • 2017 Circle of Excellence Top 5% in San Diego County
  • 2018 Diamond Award at HomeSmart International
  • 2018 Circle of Excellence in San Diego County
  • 5 Stars Zillow Agent
  • 2019 Circle of Excellence Top 5% in San Diego County Silver Award
  • 2019 Diamond Award at HomeSmart International