“Trapped” Acrylic painting w/torn paper ©️Robin King (click through image to see more)

What happens when the bright colors of your life

are trapped and hidden from view?


“Trapped” (an acrylic painting with torn paper) is available as prints in my Shop on Redbubble.

“Trapped” Click through image to see more. (©️Robin King)

“Pieces of Paper & Dryer Lint”

“Pieces of Paper and Dryer Lint” (handmade paper ©️Robin King)

Several years ago I thought it would be fun to make my own paper. I searched for instructions, found more than I’d ever have time to read, and decided to just jump in – wing it. The results may illustrate that choice but I like them anyway.

People suggested buying special pulp paper to make paper pulp. What? No. Never. I collected old advertising circulars and tore them into pieces instead.

The next steps would be to soak the paper, then compress it to get the water out. Numerous websites offered paper-making whatsits for sale. They were usually made of pressing parts and screens, with water collection containers attached. Buy those? No. Never. So, I found an old barbecue grill screen – the kind that has small holes because it’s made for a portable grill – and part of an old book shelf instead.

I filled a large bowl with water and dumped the paper in, to let sit for a day. But then I thought of how fluffy and tiny dryer lint is when it collects on the dryer filter screen. Hmmm…would it work well with the pieces of paper? There was one way to find out: I added a giant clump of dryer lint (including the usual oddities, like hair and cat fur) to the water and mixed it with the paper.

The next day, I drained off the excess water and removed the gloppy paper. Then I put the screen on top of the bowl, plopped a handful of wet paper pieces and dryer lint on top of the screen, placed the piece of shelving on top of the pile of paper, and pressed the water out. I had to repeat this step several times but eventually I was able to gently remove a sheet of soggy paper from the screen. The paper was bumpy, holey, and a bit hairy. Perfect.

I let it dry, scanned it, and uploaded the image to my Shop on Redbubble for printing on several products.

Handmade paper! It’s one of my favorite pieces: colorful, messy, and fun to explore.

“Pieces of Paper & Dryer Lint” (handmade paper ©️Robin King – click thru image to see more)


“Blep” – Work in Process – ©️Robin King

Wait! If you don’t know what a “blep” is, go here for the definition because otherwise some of this post won’t make sense: https://www.dictionary.com/e/slang/blep/.

The in-process image above is the paper collage I’m working on today. It began life in November (2022). I had other pieces to do at the time so I decided to temporarily shelve it, unfinished. This is what it looked like when I put it away:

Cut/Torn paper face, work in process (©️Robin King)

You may recognize the digital collage I created using the photo above as the base image:

Digital collage ©️Robin King

Now it’s February, and for the past two weeks I’ve been struggling with “creative direction” (what I love doing versus what I can do that is likely to sell). Today I decided to stop struggling and just enjoy playing with paper again.

So…I found that unfinished paper collage and went back to work. And, five minutes in, I suddenly noticed the BLEP! The previously blah face had something to say, a reason for its existence!


A little process information:

When I do paper collages I usually rip the pieces but occasionally make clean cuts for definition. Most often, my plan is to fully cover the ground with colors and textures that gradually form a structure. But “Blep” had a basic structure (a face) already because when I started it last year – before it was “Blep” – I wanted a face immediately. So this experience is slightly different. I’ll use both strategies in the future.

The paper that I tear/cut comes from old advertising circulars, discarded wrapping paper, brochures, and pieces of mulberry paper from “Scrap Packs” sold by “Blick Materials.” I use liquid glue and glue sticks for the adhesive. Usually, the ground is a piece of discarded cardboard but sometimes a canvas board or a stretched canvas. “Blep” is on sheet of cardboard I saved from a box of canned cat food.

Here’s a detail from “Blep:”

Detail from “Blep” – Work in Process ©️Robin King

It’s easy to see the mulberry paper fibers in the photo above. My choice of adhesive is partially dictated by what I want those mulberry paper fibers to do. Liquid glue allows me to move and place the fibers where I want them. Sometimes, if I twist the fibers they untwist in the glue and make shapes on their own. That’s exciting! Glue sticks require some planning because once the glued fibers land on the ground they resist movement. I enjoy using both methods.


So there it is, the story behind “Blep.” It has a long way to go before it’s finished. When it’s done I’ll scan it, probably do a little editing to the image file, then upload it to my Shop on Redbubble.

Here’s another cut/torn paper piece that’s already there:

“Bats at Sunset” ©️Robin King

It’s called “Bats at Sunset” and is available on the full range of Redbubble products.