Straddling a line between 2D and 3D, paper artist Calvin Nicholls forms carefully cut and layered paper sculptures of animals that seem to break free from the surrounding matboard and hover just above the surface. To achieve the haut-relief effect (a process he shares online), Nicholls first works from a drawing which he uses as a template for the various paper components. Using an X-ACTO knife, scalpels, and scissors he then carefully cuts pieces of paper and glues them in place. Each piece can take anywhere from a few weeks up to two years depending on scale and complexity.
Nicholls recently sculpted five birds of paradise as part of a private commission that are currently on view at the Society of Animal Artists annual ‘Art and the Animal’ show at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. The pieces won both an Award of Excellence and the “Artists’ Choice” awards. You can also keep an eye out for his work at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum later this month for the Birds in Art exhibition.