Picture the scene: Shrewsbury artist recycle magazines into art

Using tiny pieces of glossy magazine paper, Lyn Evans recreates well-loved scenes from pretty villages and town landmarks to treasured pets and farm animals.

SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 30/07/2020 - Shropshire Magazine Feature - Lyn Evans of Vueporium in Shrewsbury. She will be sending in JPEGS of her work..
SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 30/07/2020 - Shropshire Magazine Feature - Lyn Evans of Vueporium in Shrewsbury. She will be sending in JPEGS of her work..

Her delicate collages are made up of carefully hand torn segments no bigger than a 10p coin resulting in pictures that look like they could have been painted.

She has been designing and producing her distinctive artwork for around 10 years after falling in love with the versatile technique while making a birthday gift for a friend.

“I’ve always been creative and dabbled in painting and pottery. I made my first collage for my friend for his birthday. It was of his favourite seaside location, Sennen Cove in Cornwall. He was really impressed and I loved the process,” explains Lyn, who lives in Longden, near Shrewsbury.

Since then she has continued to hone her skills and produce picturesque scenes from across Shropshire, Wales and Cornwall as well as pets, wildlife and even classic cars.

“I’ve been doing it for so long that my technique is good and I can manipulate the paper to do whatever I need it to. It’s quite refreshing to try different things,” says Lyn, who previously worked in retail for 20 years.

Many of Lyn's pictures have been inspired by Shropshire, Wales or Cornwall

Every one of her paper collages starts life as a simple sketch from a photograph and then once she has the desired colours and design in her mind, Lyn begins flicking through the pages of her sizeable magazine collection to select the required pieces.

“I will go through all of the pages to find the colour palette. Sometimes I can find what I want straight away, other times it can take quite a while.

“I know piece by piece what colours I want, it might be blues for the sky or the sea or greens for the fields. I will look for one colour at a time,” explains Lyn.

Her favourite magazines to source her pieces from are old copies of Vogue as she believes the quality of the glossy paper is second to none.

“The photography, colours and the quality of the paper in these magazines is fantastic. I do quite a lot of W.I. talks and I always say if they know anyone who has a subscription to this magazine could they ask them to pass their magazines on to me when they’ve finished with them rather than putting them in their recycling box,” says Lyn.

She hand tears each of the pieces of paper that she needs for her collages, which are predominantly A3 sized.

Unless Lyn is replicating a building or other structure requiring straight lines, the segments will be circular.

Lyn also enjoys making portraits of pets

“When they are circular they look like blobs of paint and they are softer on the eye. I’m just putting a blob of paper on instead of a blob of paint,” she says.

For each A3 collage, she will tear pieces of paper from between 30 and 50 different magazine pages.

“The amount I use from each page will vary and for some I might only use a two-inch area I take what I need and put the magazine back for another time,” explains Lyn.

Although she always works from photographs, Lyn will often exercise her artistic licence when she believes it’s necessary.

“If the photo was taken on a grey day, then I will ignore all that and put in the colours and tones of a nicer day.

“If I’m making a picture of somebody’s home and the photo was taken in winter so there are no flowers out, I will put them in where I think they would be to pretty it up,” she tells Weekend. Lyn only works on one commission at a time so she can dedicate herself fully to the project.

Depending on the level of detail, each piece can take between a week and three weeks to complete.

One of her favourite collages has been a piece of artwork showing a vibrant Shrewsbury Quarry Park which she completed during lockdown.

Lyn tears each piece of paper by hand

“I started it at the beginning of the year and I was working on it on and off. When lockdown happened, I was stuck in my studio so I got on with it and finished it. I wanted it to be a really happy piece.

“I got cards and prints made of it and it was really popular. I think it cheered people up and it uplifted me at a time that was really scary because all of my stockists were closed. It kick-started so much interest on Facebook and Instagram.

“I had orders from all over the UK and there were people who had lived in Shrewsbury and wanted it as a reminder. That was quite a boost for me and I’m glad I persevered with it,” says Lyn.

Other Shropshire landmarks that have been recreated in paper art have included Shrewsbury’s English Bridge, Ludlow and Ironbridge in the four seasons.

“I need to do my Shrewsbury landmarks, although Shrewsbury Quarry Park may be a hard act to follow. I want to do Shrewsbury Abbey, a summer version of Shrewsbury Castle and Wyle Cop because I love all of the buildings,” Lyn tells Weekend.

Although her colourful and intricate collages can be time-consuming, she says she never gets tired of the process and she gets a great deal of satisfaction and joy from every piece of work she creates.

“I love the thrill of the chase in finding the colours in the magazines. I love it when I finish a piece and knowing when to finish is important because it would be easy to carry on adding to it when it doesn’t need it.

“When I’m working on a piece, they really do get my full attention and I find sitting in my studio, working with the radio on is quite cathartic. The time goes by really quickly and I never get bored,” she explains.

See www.lynevansdesigns.co.uk

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News