top of page

Torn Paper Canvases inspired by Mark Bradford

This weeks project is inspired by Mark Bradford, a contemporary American artist most known for his collaged paper artworks that he refers to as "painting with paper." Mark saw paper as pigment that had been turned into paper. He was also drawn to paper because he felt that it was the main way we share information with each other and that was powerful to him.

To create his artworks he gathers together found paper - old posters, billboards, and signs, and soaks them in water. He said he usually starts with a florescent color, then adds string or bungee cords, and then builds up layers of soaked, wet paper on top. This process takes a very long time, sometimes each layer can take a week. Once he was done layering with paper he rips, shreds, sands, glues, and sometimes even power washes.

Here are a couple places you can explore some of his works:

Our Project:

We were really inspired by Mark's process of layering wet paper, over string, and ripping and tearing. So we decided to experiment and try something like that. This artwork was very much an extended process and experiment that will take a few days but it is totally worth it!


- Canvas panel

- Construction paper and mixed papers

- paint

- string

- glue

- water

First we put down a layer of florescent paint onto our canvas, and while it was still wet we laid some string down on top, (be sure to leave a little bit of the string hanging off the side). If you want to glue down the string in a couple places to make sure it doesn't move you can, but don't use too much!

While that was drying, we soaked some paper in a tub of water - this can soak for an hour or up to a whole day. Then we mixed some glue into water and painted some of the mixture across the canvas, then we laid a large piece of the soaking paper down. We repeated this process for a handful of layers, try around 6 - 10. The last layer we added in more decorative paper

*Tip, try and use as big of pieces of paper as possible

Then we let that dry and it did take a full day or two. Once it was FULLY dry we grabbed the string that was hanging out and began to rip/pull it so it ripped through the paper. This can be a bit tricky, so you child might need help. remember this is as much an experiment as an artwork, so it its okay if you end up trying more ripping or cutting. Just enjoy the process.

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page