Creating her paper paintings has been an evolutionary process, and although each piece is ultimately guided by the paper, here are the steps Ronni Jolles takes to create her works of art:

Gather photographs of subject and loosely sketch.

Visit paper closet. Colors and textures needed for the piece are pulled: big sheets of the paper for larger pieces, into bags of smaller sheets and scraps for smaller pieces.

Lay out two stretched canvases of the same size on work table. Always work on tables; easels don’t work because the paper will fall off until all layers glued.


Begin to lay out the papers on one of the stretched canvases – working from the background to the foreground.

Once papers laid out and ripped or cut to the right size, gently move the top papers to the canvas next to it, and begin to glue the first layer of paper. That is usually the background – the sky, background hill, etc.

Glue and then use an acrylic sealant, sometimes mixed with acrylic paint to add more variation of color, to the top of that background layer. Once dry, begin to glue the next layer of paper.


Work the layers towards the foreground, moving things around to make the composition work better.

Manipulate the papers while gluing to add more texture. When the paper is all glued, put the piece up on the wall for days/weeks of observation.

Add detail with pencil, ink pen, or fine paintbrush. Rip paper or move things around to get just right. Sign name and apply UV-protective varnish.


This is the finished piece, and I called it “Shutters on the Balcony.” It is 16″ x 20″ unframed.