Geometric Cut Paper Pattern Collages by Elise Wehle

Elise Wehle Geometric Cut Pattern Paper Collages - LIke a Fire is Burning

California native Elise Wehle studied art at Brigham Young University in Utah, but found her calling and understood the type of art she wanted to create after living in Spain for a year. Surrounded by the patterns that cover Andalucía, Wehle began using similar patterns within her own collages. Yet, it was the Alhambra, a Moorish palace covered in intricate, hand carved patterns, that influenced Wehle the most. These hand-cut paper designs are comprised of layers of an assemblage of mixed media, transforming the images into distressed and textured compositions. She states, “It’s not surprising then that after I saw my first cut paper artwork, a beautiful piece by Donna Ruff, I knew I needed this process in my creative life. It represented that human presence, imperfect but dedicated, that I admired so much in others’ work. I started experimenting with cutting paper soon afterward.” The moodiness of each person is captured with each defining slice, as if windows to each subjects soul.

Elise Wehle Geometric Cut Pattern Paper Collages - An Allusion to Kells Book

Wehle directly associates pattern with these same kind of hands-on, laborious processes. There is something about patterns that naturally fit into the themes of dedication, craft, and devotion, and she has an affinity for art that encapsulates these themes. She states, “My mind can hardly comprehend how men achieved such intricacy with a simple chisel. Although paper is very different from stone, that’s what paper cutting is like for me. It’s tedious, time-intensive, and at times both mind-numbing as well as finger-numbing, but the evidence of my commitment and passion for my art imbues itself into each cut out shape.”

Elise Wehle Geometric Cut Pattern Paper Collages - Covered in Earth

Wehle’s recent works take direct references from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript from around 800. The compositions, imagery, and of course, geometric patterns of this book profoundly resonate with her and provide ample inspiration. She states, “We’ll see where else the Book of Kells takes me!”

Elise Wehle Geometric Cut Pattern Paper Collages - An Allusion to Kells Book

“I’ve always admired intense, time-consuming art that makes your hands ache as you contemplate how someone had the patience to make something so tedious. With technology becoming an increasingly pervasive presence, I value more and more the physical human touch and manipulation that can be present in art.” – Elise Wehle

Elise Wehle Geometric Cut Pattern Paper Collages -  Underpinnings

Through Elise’s process, she plans out where the patterns will go, and then she cuts, cuts, cuts… simple as that! Having to buy in bulk, she goes through a lot of Xacto knife blades. States the artist, “By the time I finish an artwork little pieces of cut out paper litter my entire studio floor. I have to be careful not to track them through the house where my little ten month old would love to find and eat them. The challenges of being a paper artist, am I right?”

images courtesy of Elise Wehle

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