Profoundly Spare and Elegant Paper On Edge

At the risk of repeating myself, once again I'll say how much I enjoy coming across a person who has a new approach to working with paper. Today, I'm happy to shine a light on Paulina M. Johnson, whose paper art was recently introduced to me via a Google Alert. It is currently on display in Pencil, Paper & Ink, a show that brings three artists together at Pine Moon Fine Art, located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where Paulina lives. First, let's take a look at a few of her pieces that are featured in the exhibit.

framed on edge paper art bicycle on road hanging on wall
Evening Ride


What attracted me to Paulina's style is its simplicity and neutral color palette, not to mention the use of negative space and perfection with which she places each archival letterpress paper strip.

framed line drawing mountains paper art pair
Dawn to Dusk (Diptych)


With paper on edge artwork, simplicity does not equal simple... far from it. Instead, the eye is drawn to the slightest flaw - I see none in Paulina's work - and, of course, to the overall shape. The design must convey what it represents despite lean lines. 


framed on edge paper ski lift
Morning Lift


A graphic designer and adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College, Paulina was distressed at the quantity of wasted paper. Just three years ago she began upcycling it into art... at first origami, paper cutting and sculpture, and more traditional scrolled quilling before developing handsomely framed home decor that mainly utilizes strips that are cut and glued on edge.  


framed on edge paper art calla lilies
Calla Lilies

During quarantine last April, Paulina challenged herself to a 100-day Instagram project that led to these six by six-inch line-drawn pieces.


on edge paper sling chair


Each is situated within a strong, yet softly rounded frame-like border.


on edge paper art tent


The designs speak to the Colorado habitat and outdoor lifestyle and are sure to make for an impressive display when they are exhibited in a solo show at Pine Moon Fine Art, slated for December 4, 2020 through the 27th.

on edge paper swimming pool ladder


If you would like to be part of the project, Paulina invites you to participate by choosing one or more of the 100-day illustrations and write to her about why it speaks to you.


 framed on edge paper ski helmet


Submissions will be included in the show. She is currently 4/5 of the way to the finish line and expects the compositions to be completed by the end of October.

on edge paper art pine trees with reflected tree shadows
Moonlit Lake



Form and the play of light and shadows figure into each of Paulina's art pieces, not to mention her choice of tasteful framing. Below, a wooden hoop embraces her family.

framed on edge paper family of four
Four As One


Paulina M. Johnson is on Instagram.

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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. I am so amazed at the talent, the creativity, the patience and the vision of this artist. I can copy but I cannot create! Absolutely beautiful!

  2. Wow, these are beautiful...and some have an optical illusion quality to them...amazing.


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