A new sheet of paper. You are pristine, unmarked, no stains, no folds, no wrinkles, no lines of any kind. This fresh sheet of drawing paper, a sheet of soft white Stonehenge paper. Full size or trimmed to a desired size or even a small scrap, you are all the same. Perfect sheets of paper. The touch of a new sheet is thrilling, the touch is clean and exciting. As a new sheet of paper you are filled with prospects, you are an unknown and unknowable future. As a new sheet, you are a pleasant anticipation. Thick, with deckle edges, absorbent taking the mark of a soft or hard tool easily. When a smaller piece is needed (not a scrap) I find the needed measurement, score a line, then fold along that line and creasing with a tool on both sides. Wetting the folded edge so when it is torn, the contrast with the deckle edge is no too significant. This is an important step in the process of making the paper size work. A spotless, flawless, beautifully impeccable, clean, immaculate, pure, virginal sheet of paper.
Then I am reminded of what one of my teachers said, you are only a piece of paper, all the while a beautiful piece of paper. Making the first mark is often difficult, not onerous, just a little scary, then…if the mark is unfavorable, disliked, not up to the ideal of what is desired it can be worked over or a new sheet can be started. A new beginning once again. Each new sheet is the start of a new drawing, the brain lets loose, the hand lets loose and the colors whatever they are fly onto the page; the way words can fly when writing non stop. Or the marks can be mindful, precise, exact, planned. This new piece, these many new pieces of newly marked paper are a kind of joy.
When paper becomes marked it changes into something else. Something new as well. These new pieces of paper then become art and as a group, a series of drawings telling a visual story. A story the artist wants the views to participate in. The paper grows into something other people want, they purchase or trade for these marked sheets of paper. The marked papers are then put into frames, travel to the homes of collectors and becomes art. The owner now of this piece of paper, no longer just a piece of paper, makes the decision of what it is, what this plain piece of now marked paper becomes.
Paper, you can be many sizes, as small a 1” square or as big as 40” x 30” or more. Paper comes in all sizes. Made by many different producers, for different types of projects…some paper for drawing, some for etching, some for pen and ink, some for collage, kite making, book binding, writing tickets, cash paper money, and even lined paper for writing. And all new beginnings start with a fresh sheet of clean plain unmarred paper.
© 2021 Pauline Kochanski All Rights Reserved
Pauline Kochanski is a learner, meditator, teacher, artist, advocate for conscious aging, founder of 3rd-Arc, and writer; all in no particular order. Each day one of these is in the forefront. Each day is new. Breathe Peacefully.