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Carol Menninga
240 Lovesee Road
Roscoe, IL  61073

MEDIUM:  Papercutting painted with coffee and watercolor.

I have been creating, exhibiting and selling my original papercuttings since 1994.  My work has been shown at galleries, museums and at many of the midwest's most prestigious art fairs and festivals.  It has received numerous awards, and is recognized by collectors across the county.

These papercuttings are my own design and creation.  List other self-taught artists, my art springs from intuition and experimentation rather than from a learned tradition.  My greatest influence though, is from nature, which gives me my subject matter and also guides my methods.

I start with a thin white paper, folding to emphasize repeating patterns.  I always draw before I cut, creating several sketches of my subject before committing scissors to paper.  My cutting tools are sewing scissors - my tool of choice - and an exacto blade - used to reach areas my scissors can't.  Look for unexpected assymetries in some of the cuttings.

My primary painting medium is brewed coffee, reduced to several shades of brown pigment, which I apply, as a paint, with various brushes for shading and texture.  Coffee has a rich transluscence as well as a tendency to puddle, which I utilize to achieve the dappled surface you see in my work.

Watercolor is used to detail just a single flower, bird or insect.  A metamorphosis.  As things come to life in nature, I like the way my work can come to life as you look at it.  Viewing these papercuttings you can enjoy their detail or lose yourself in the patterns as with an ancient mandala, inducing peace and tranquility.