It is not enough for artists to celebrate nature in our art, we need to ensure the materials we use are eco-friendly. The movement to ensure the art materials I use are safe and non-toxic is what propelled me to join North American Hand Papermakers and apply to be a key-note speaker at the 2021 annual conference.
Together with Hanna Padilla, CEO of Fibex Corporation, a start-up company baed in the Philippines, we will share how the material I use to create my paintings, abaca, is also used in manufacturing PPE. Because of its inherent strength, it cannot be ripped when it is dry, organic source, and it’s soft, breathable texture, abaca proved ideal for making PPE. As a result, abaca is now in high demand by healthcare facilities for making masks, in textile manufacturing, and in diaper and disposable wipe manufacturing.
It gets better . . .
Planting abaca has shown great potential in restoring wetlands as it can grow in salty water. This may help solve issues of beach erosion caused by over development and climate change.
How about in automobile manufacturing? Mercedes Benz is experimenting with using abaca in place of glass fibers to reduce the weight of its vehicles and produce a more eco-friendly automobile.
I always loved this humble fiber, now I’m on a tear to share this good news with the world. And in the meantime, I’ll keep using it as my go to painting medium.
About this painting:
This painting is part of my “Rocks and Water as portrait of life’s journey” series. The composition is meant to illustrate that while we prefer the smooth cool feel of the water, it is our resolve to overcome the rocks that we stumble upon that develops our character. As we resolve ourselves to keep stumbling over the obstacles in our path, we inevitably persevere as gain the strength we need to keep going.
The rocky shoreline of the New England coast provides the perfect subject matter for this metaphor. I love nothing more than to visit the shoreline along the northshore and wander along the rocks, dipping my toes into the cool waters of the north Atlantic.