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Paper-making Inspired by Russian Literature

«Мастер и Маргарита»,  роман Михаила Афанасьевича Булгакова

The Englishman by Kazimir Malevich is on the cover.
I have been reading "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov, and I just couldn't put the book down.  Bulgakov's writing is captivating -- hypnotic in many ways. . . 

There were a few lines that compelled me to go into my studio and create art.  One of these lines was:
Конечно, когда люди совершенно ограблены, как мы с тобой, они ищут спасения у потусторонней силы!

"Of course, when people have been robbed of everything, like you and me, they seek salvation from other-worldly powers!"

Using paper-making and printmaking techniques, I created 15 collages inspired by the tones in the book and Malevich's color palette.  I wanted to explore how these tones and colors formed visual narratives.  How would these narratives change when the hues and combinations were switched around?   Or when parts of the collages were cut up, torn, interwoven, and ripped? 

Paper collages, Suzanne Coley
After experimenting with these collages, I realized I needed to go further.  I wanted to restrict my color palette and my medium as much as possible and see where it would take me.  I wanted to capture the "dark side and the light side" simultaneously.
paper collages with handmade paper, Suzanne Coley
I made a new batch of pulp from cotton fibers, a document, and pages from a dictionary.  I used red pigment to dye one batch of pulp.  I tried different ways to paint with this pulp.  I played with this idea for a few days while reading the novel.
detail of handmade paper by Suzanne Coley 
Yesterday, I wanted to see if I could somehow use pigments to interweave shadows onto a newly formed (translucent) sheet of paper while it was still wet.   
detail of handmade paper by Suzanne Coley
This is what I got.


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