A random, brown paper grocery bag-related grab bag:
1. I keep a stock of cut-open, rolled up grocery bags always. I often use them for drawing paper or other things when I’m working on some kind of project. But they’re also great to protect the table while I’m working with glue, paint, etc. Sometimes a bag gets spattered with paint while I’m working on top of it and looks so great (especially if I’m using my favorite metallic Lumiere paints) that it ends up getting added to my decorative paper stash. (Note the rolled up, used paper towels. If they’re relatively clean after I use them in the kitchen, I put them in the dryer for a few minutes and save them to reuse in the studio.)
2. The folds of the bags make some great shapes when they’re cut apart, and since the paper is strong, the bags can be very sculptural (like the Ilvy Jacobs Foldbags I mentioned in a post the other day). Here’s a castle made from a cut open bag. I glued some cardboard on the back walls to give it some extra strength.
…and here’s a Valentine made from a heart that was printed on an old IGA bag. I wish they still made those heart bags.
4. A friend who has been following all these brown paper bag posts sent me this link to an engaging little video in which Milton Glaser and Cynthia Rowley talk about the role of brown paper bags in the early development of their art.