The handmade paper pieces you are viewing are not paint on paper but are made up of paper pulp itself, applied and layered collage like in a myriad of ways so that they become all of a piece. While the process is direct and spontaneous, it requires a great deal of equipment and preparation before during and after the making of the artwork. An artist wishing to work in this medium, creating what is sometimes called “pulp painting”, must find one of the few existing special studios in which to create the work.
As an artist who had been working primarily in paint, being introduced to the tactile and sensuous quality of the paper pulp, the compelling texture and light of the white sheet, the glorious colors of the pulps and the myriad of possibilities, I was immediately enthralled.
In the mid 90’s, I began to explore how to realize a dream begun in college while studying ceramics and painting. Reading about, viewing, and being inspired by Japanese art, particularly calligraphy, in the superior collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I wished to study calligraphy in Japan.
Though it took 35 plus years to realize my dream, in 1998, I spent the first of several years living northwest of Tokyo in the foothills of the Japan Alps. It was not easy to find a teacher, but Kobayashi Sensei, with some trepidation since she spoke no English and my Japanese was minimal, accepted her first and only foreigner. If any one thing defines Japan, my spiritual home, it is The Four Treasures, paper, ink, brush and inkstone.
Dividing my time between Boston and Japan, in New York at Dieu Donne Papermill I created artworks in pulp painting, sometimes incorporating fragments of my calligraphy. I continue to study calligraphy and make artwork, my explorations are ongoing and seem to me the perfect marriage of calligraphy and pulp painting in handmade paper.