I think there is something about a portrait that draws people in more than a landscape or still life could do.
Meet Sharlene Kayne, the creative mind behind Skayne Designs. Her work is unique due to the fact that she does not paint her beautiful art, but creates her pieces by hand using torn paper. We came across Sharlene’s work and were amazed at how beautiful hand torn, handmade paper can be when it falls into the hands of an artist. We had the opportunity to contact Sharlene and learn more about her work and the process behind the creations of Skayne Designs.
EotB: You have so much skill and a very unique feel of artistry. How long have you been an artist and how did this journey begin?
SK: I think I was born an artist. Ok, maybe not really, but I’ve been creating art of some sort or another for as long as I can remember.
EotB: What drew you to paper collage to express your art?
SK: I remember coming across collage work several years ago just when I was looking for a new medium. I had been doing soldering pieces, and I was getting tired of the fumes and the chemicals, so I decided to play around with paper!
EotB: How do you select the type of paper you use?
SK: I have always used only handmade-paper from around the world (sustainable and ethically sourced) but I’ve moved from heavy textural papers to using more translucent Japanese papers because I love the ability to shade that the finer paper provides me.
EotB: How was the bubblegum idea born?
SK: I love the idea of creating old masters with a new twist! I don’t typically use the bubblegum on anything but recreations of old master paintings. I love including whimsical aspects in my design and the bubblegum hits the mark!
EotB: Most of your art pieces are portraits. Why are you drawn to this style versus others?
SK: I think there is something about a portrait that draws people in more than a landscape or still life could do. I have done some still life’s, but I also am drawn to the portraits.
EotB: Has your style of art evolved over time and if so, what has contributed to that evolution?
SK: The thing that has evolved the most, is my understanding of different papers and how to achieve a certain look with each. Right now I’m favoring a more refined look with the thinner papers, but that could change!
EotB: Some of your work has included 3D detailing, such as a portrait of Frida Kahlo with flowers in her hair. What lead you to experiment in this manner and did you have to change your technique in order to achieve a successful outcome?
SK: It was fun to experiment with the 3D and get positive feedback with it! Thanks for bringing that up and reminding me that I should do it again!! ….And just like that, I thought of something new to try – using plaster for the 3D!!! Thanks!!
EotB: Tell us about your studio and creative process.
SK: I have a beautiful studio dedicated space with lots of storage for all my papers. (Six large deep drawers, a built-in cabinet and a bookcase that holds more supplies). That being said, I like the light better in my kitchen, so I usually haul everything out there.
EotB: We love how joyful and playful your art is. What do you want others to feel when they see a piece of your work?
SK: I love that it is a collaboration because the owner themself is reflected in their choice of art. If someone compliments them on the art they own, that person can rightly take full credit.
EotB: How would you describe your art to someone who has never seen it?
SK: The elevator pitch would be: I create collages out of torn handmade paper from around the world. I lean toward creating whimsical recreations of old master portraits with the subjects blowing bubble gum. I also love to create less whimsical but equally interesting portraits of people.
EotB: What other artists do you admire?
SK: There is no one person I can name. Mostly it’s art the pieces that inspire me no matter who created them. Often it’s outsider art.
EotB: Do you have a current favorite piece, and if so please talk to us about how it came to be and why it is your favorite?
SK: My favorite piece is usually the one I’m working on! That being said, and since it’s not finished, my last few pieces were a recreation of “The Surprise” (I decided to make one for myself) and “Bohemian Vogue” which I’ve gotten a lot of requests for and that makes me love it even more!
EotB: How would someone go about purchasing your work? Do you accept commissioned work?
SK: Right now I’m only selling my pieces on Instagram. I preview a piece every Wednesday in my story with the details on the piece and how to purchase it. Then I post it for sale on Thursday. The pieces usually go pretty quickly, so I haven’t been able to build a collection. I’m totally fine with that.
Be sure to follow Sharlene on social media to keep up with her work as she unveils new art each week for purchase. You can also view her profile on Wescover and be sure to check out her personal website here and sign up for notification of its official launch.