What do you need that for?

Posted on May 18, 2012 by in Artists, Inspiration

What do you need that for?

Have you ever had that question asked of you? Me? Many times. I pick something up that I just like, seemingly of no value to anyone else. Not for the sake of hoarding, I just like the look, the feel, the texture, it makes me think … I know it will come in useful or inspire in the future. Looks of “whatever” or bemusement or, after all these years, silent resignation are usually evident in the faces of those who accompany me.

In a corner of the studio, my shed with the chandelier, stands a bamboo container filled with rolls of paper collected over many years. Each piece of paper tells a different story. Some expensive; the hand patterned Florentine marbled paper or the subtle sparkle paper – a remnant from Fiona and Tims fireplace wall in Scotland, we were all a few years younger then. Japanese paper, inexpensive brown paper, paper I have painted myself. All waiting to be reused and stitched, small pieces or large stripes, becoming part of my artwork, now or in the future. The pieces may become indistinguishable in their new form but their unique stories are transported into the artwork.


And so, I was struck by the passion of a wall paper collector from New York – yes old wall paper collected from the back of old hardware stores… sometimes forgotten, of no use to anyone. Suzanne Lipshutz just loved them when no one else did. Her passion for an old bits of paper has inspired her life story. 

Join us in the Shed with the Chandelier facebook group – you’ll find the a video of Suzanne Lipshutz story there, 50 years on…Barbra Striesand loved Suzanne’s inspired finds, who is waiting for yours?

Have you any “treasures”, long since forgotten by others, but still holding inspiration for you? I would love to know.

Please leave your comments below or join our Facebook group and share you pictures and thoughts there too – we can continue the conversation… 

Photo credit: Heather McHale.  Thank you Heather for nearly falling from a great height to get these pics…you hero!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Irena says:

    Definitely been asked that question before, and even asked myself. I am a collector. However, oftentimes I just put the things into boxes, neatly tidied away and forget about them. Writing about this makes me itch and want to get one of those surprise boxes out. I shall do that now!