Thursday, April 3, 2014

Painting with pulp

I can’t wrap my head around this artwork. It looks like a pretty pastel painting, done on an easel beside a view. But it is not. It is all made with wet paper pulp, painstakingly dyed and applied to a screen in little precise bits at a time to create a whole picture. It has to be done inside a studio with screens and vats and buckets of pulp. No paint of any kind is added to the surface. I don’t how she does it, but I imagine paper artist Meg Black must have to completely plan it on paper with a pen before starting. What really boggles my mind is how she is able to capture such lovely colors. When paper pulp is wet, it is much darker than it looks when it dries. To get all the different shades just right while working with wet pulp ... well, she must be infinitely patient. I have admired her artwork for years, especially because I have tried “pulp painting” before. There are additives in correct proportions that must be used to thin the pulp so the painter is able to manipulate it. For instance, an artist can make very fine lines by putting the pulp into a squeeze bottle; however, untreated pulp will clump and clog the nozzle. If you would like to see my attempt at pulp painting, scoot down a page or two in this blog to the entry, “Valley Artisans Market.” You can see my pulp painting on the wall in the photo. Trust me, it looks nothing like Meg’s work! To see more of her wonderful creations, go to

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