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Muskoka Contemporary Paper Artist Col Mitchell’s Pen & Ink on Sculpted Paper Art

original  •  one of a kind  •  irreproducible




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Visitors called to the dome shaped expanse extending upwards from the characteristically blue horizon.




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Any part of the Earth’s surface not covered by water, and occupied by nature’s explorers, real or imagined.




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Liquid content of a stream, river, lake, ocean etc., and the real or imagined denizens or flora that may abide within.

Collect the Unique 

Original Three Stage Technique

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Three diverse stages:


First of all I move and form the paper by hand. As a contemporary paper artist my goal especially is to create appropriate lines and texture for the subject .

My specialty within this technique is to form the entire subject out of a single sheet of paper. This is shown in the image above.  Another example worth viewing is the form of the fox in the work “Scenting Sunshine“.


Once dry, the paper becomes a permanent surface which is then stained with multiple layers of transparent acrylic washes. As a result the interactions between the mediums then becomes my inspiration for the final stage.


Many layers of lines of colour are then applied with a dipping pen nib. Hence the work evolves slowly, and even somewhat mysteriously as I find my way one line at a time.

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“It’s all about movement, texture and an amazing mixture of colours “

Deeni De Medeiros

Appreciate the Challenges

Ink line application ruled by gravity

Ink needs to “fall” off the pen therefore gravity limits the angles at which I can work. It also limits my reach and as a result the size of a single canvas. To solve for this I must turn the work sideways and upside down, though it adds further challenges.

Simultaneous contrast

The background (stained paper) as well as adjoining lines of ink effect the perceived hue, saturation and/or brightness of individual colours, which is called simultaneous contrast.

Ink may look one way in my work but a different way in the pot, which I adjust for — or take advantage.


While I do have a plan, an intention on what the subject of my work will be, I cannot predict the following:

  • the limitations in the movement of the paper
  • stain and paper interaction
  • how a completed piece will look

For example, the three artworks below were worked on simultaneously and made up of the same papers. Additionally the same wash stain colour palette and the same premixed inks were used.

Contemporary Paper Artist Col Mitchell - The Kinglet's Quarter's (left) Fortune Collector (center) Made for This (right)
“My eye keeps travelling all over the textures and mixing colours. It is truly fascinating how you captured the image so organically you not only see the painting, but you feel it.”Jenna Elines


“Art provides us with a way to experience ourselves in relation to the universe, and thus is an experience of the mysterious.” Vladimir Breskin

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“There is a sense of magic and mystery. One can never get bored. I wish I could have a whole wall of these!”Michelle Basic Hendry

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Featured New Work

“. . . your painting are lush with movement, character and spirit”

Wendy Storey

Featured On

As seen on Day Time, RogersTV
As seen on G20 Summit, Media Centre, Toronto 2012
As seen on Times Square, NYC
As seen on Artifacts Series, Cogeco TV

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From the Blog

ArtSpirit ArtVentures ArtBiz of a Contemporary Paper Artist

“Candy for the eyes and soul! The amount of time and expertise needed to produce one of these works of art is only exceeded by Col’s ability to infuse each of them with tremendous emotion and mood!”

Pam Turcot

Giving Back

As a paper artist I am always aware of the connection my art has to trees. In honour of this connection a portion of studio sales is donated monthly to

We support @StandForTrees. Preserving forests. Protecting species. Empowering communities: