Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at:  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Member Spotlight

Welcome to another Paper Traders Member Spotlight.
This month we are shining the light on:

How did you find Paper Traders?
I had met the three sisters who founded this group in another Yahoo group. We had traded ATCs there, and they liked mine, so they invited me when they founded this group.

How long have you been a member?
I joined in November 2005, so I'm here for almost 8 years.

Where do you live?
I live in Münster, Germany. It's a middle sized town (300.000 inhabitants) between Hamburg and Cologne in the North-West of Germany, near the Dutch border. I came to Münster to study at the university when I was 19, and now I'm stuck here for 30 years ;-) Well, it's a really nice place to live.

How have your surroundings affected your art? 
They probably give me the opportunity to create: I need inspirational input from museums, libraries, concerts, theatre, a zoo, cinemas and so on, and as a university town, Münster has all these, but is also a quiet place with more bikes than cars.

Please share a little about your own art experience.
I've always been creative. As a child, I drew and learned as many art techniques as I could find in books. As a teenager, I wrote stories and poems and knitted all my self-designed sweaters. While studying in Münster, I had a job in a shop for buttons, yarns, and beads for 1 1/2 years where I learned some beadworking techniques and could help our customers with their knitting problems. In 1999 I started stamping and never stopped doing it - I just combined it with more and more mixed-media techniques over the years. A few years ago I also started learning Photoshop and am still learning every day - digital collages have become a clean alternative to my usual messy artwork. I can do it on my desk in my living room while I have to sit at my kitchen table when it gets messy ...

What are some of your favorite techniques or genres? 
I love doing collages of any kind - including stamping, sewing, digital collages or assemblages. I just like to put stuff together that looks like it needs a new life.

What inspires you?
Music and books, and of course other artists' work. Most of my pieces start with a few words that are going around in my brain, others just come together because there are leftovers from finished projects on my table that build up their own story while I collage them, and in the end you'll probably find words on that piece again ...

Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this? 
While I only admire some artists like Dürer, van Eyck, and Rogier van der Weyden, but can't learn anything from these heroes, there are others whose art has been more similar to what I'm doing - just MUCH better. That's why I love Max Ernst's artwork though I'm not a big fan of surrealism. But he has started with DADA art which has been the beginning of mail art, then he invented some great art techniques like frottage and grattage, and he made the most fabulous collages from old book illustrations that I've ever seen. Of course he's been a great painter and sculptor, too, but I prefer his paper work and especially his cut and paste art.

Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room? 
I live in a very small one room flat, and as I have to sleep in my living room, I have to create at my kitchen table. As I also like to cook, my kitchen is always a mess, and the only good thing is that I don't have guests often ... when I have guests, it takes several hours to put away my messy stuff so that my guests dare to eat what comes out of my messy kitchen. I'd love to have more space, but I can't afford a bigger flat. I already spend one half of my income to pay the one I have.

What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?
Well, I wouldn't call it a trick: I just put my art stuff everywhere and don't have guests anymore ;-) And instead of cleaning, I often sit down and rather make a mess.

Please share a little about your family and pets...
Apart from the family I was born in, I don't have a family and no pets either. I've had several long-time partners but am a single now for many years.

If you'd like, please share a little about your childhood, where you grew up, and when your creativity began.
I was born in Cologne, a much bigger city than Münster (1.000.000 inhabitants). I had two sisters and a brother, all much older than me. When I was 9 years old, we moved to Bremen (600.000 inhabitants) where I finished school before I moved to Münster at the age of 19. My father (who died when I was 21) liked drawing and was quite gifted, but it wasn't before he lost his night sleep because of lung cancer that he started painting with watercolours. During his last years, he sat there all night in our living room with a daylight lamp, painting to forget his pain. I've been the happy receiver of his watercolour box and still use it.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?  
More often than doing art, you'll find me reading what is called "a good book". In fact I never leave my home without a book, and there isn't one day that I'm not reading. When I don't read novels or poetry, I choose books about art or history. I also like to knit but don't do it as intensely as when I was 17; nowadays I mostly knit socks which gives me the feeling that watching TV isn't that useless because I can knit while watching a film or series. I also like playing games of any kind, from computer or card or board games to having fun with my pub quiz team.
Marion Bockelmann


Jo Murray said...

It's great to know more about Marion...her lovely work graces my ATC collection.

Donna B. Miller said...

It was wonderful learning more about Marion and her home in Germany. She is so amazingly talented.

bockel24 said...

your comments made me blush!

fairyrocks said...

How nice to learn a little more about you and what you are inspired by. So lucky to have you in our swapping group. Love that you would rather make a mess, alone, than have company LOL. I am touched for you by the loss of your father when you were so young, and the fact that his paintbox is a treasured gift. Keep smiling and creating