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Create a tissue paper collage inspired by the artist Amy Sillman’s painting process. 


The American artist Amy Sillman describes her artmaking process as usually beginning with an intuitive application of paint, which then triggers a chain of multiple revisions as she re-works a painting over time by layering paint and changing the orientation of the canvas. This process of ongoing transformation and questioning is what Sillman considers her main interest in making art, rather than the final canvas. For Sillman, a final composition gives form to feelings of awkwardness, dissatisfaction, and doubt that come up during the creative process. As you look at Amy Sillman’s painting Cart (2017), consider where there are visible traces of the artist’s process of layering and revision, then follow the steps below to create your own process-based artwork using tissue paper. 

Watch a video of Sillman speaking about her creative process.


  • Canvas 
  • Tissue paper in various colors  
  • Glue 
  • Foam brush 
  • Cup  
  • Water 


  • Mix equal parts glue and water in your cup. 
  • Spread a thin layer of the glue solution onto your canvas. 
  • Cut or tear pieces of tissue paper and smooth them down onto your canvas over the glue. Gently spread more of the glue solution on top of the tissue paper to seal it.
  • Keep adding pieces of tissue paper in different colors to build up your collage. Utilize the tissue paper’s transparency to create a layered composition. Try focusing on the creative process rather than the final product, and let your collage evolve over time.
  • Try rotating your canvas as you work to see how your composition looks in different orientations.
  • When you feel satisfied with your composition, allow the canvas to dry.