Author: Sarah Clowe, Director of Art Programs

Materials: Tissue paper (recycled gift wrap tissue can be used), paper, and glue

Take inspiration from the soft overlapping colors in artist Ethel Magafan's work, Craggy Heights to create a tissue paper collage!

The original work from the museum's collections, Craggy Heights, was created with a combination of oil and tempera paint. This abstract painting contains a collection of overlapping organic shapes in a variety of colors.  If a shape is organic that means that it is difficult to name and has more irregular forms.  The soft edges in the shapes in Craggy Heights reminded me of torn paper so we're using torn tissue paper to create this week's Museum Makers project.

Once you've finished your art, feel free to email a picture to me at and I'll feature it in a Museum Makers gallery!

Tissue Paper Collage

In Craggy Heights, artist Ethel Magafan's shapes pulls the viewers eyes across the canvas in a variety of directions with pointed shapes, and lines.  When you add shapes to your picture you can experiment with orienting them in different directions before gluing.  A nice advantage to using tissue paper is its transparency.  When you overlap colors you can see a bit of color mixing where the two colors overlay.

1. Bring out your tissue paper- recycled gift wrap works well.

2. Tear your tissue paper into a variety of shapes.

3. Place your shapes on your paper, and move them around to discover your favorite placement.

4. Glue your tissue paper shapes down, and try overlapping them to discover soft color mixing.

Collection Connection: Craggy Heights

Ethel Magafan
1988, Oil and tempera on masonite
Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, 1989.26




Published July 2, 2020