At first glance, my paintings appear to be oil on canvas or similar. It is upon closer inspection that viewers observe the textured surface of the work. In fact, the most common comment I receive is “I love the texture of your work-it is so engaging. It’s like I’m actually there. Just what is the medium?” The medium I use is abaca, an extremely strong fiber from the inner bark of the banana tree and is used for marine cordage and sails for sailing vessels.
In the 16th century, Venetian artists-Venice at the time was a powerful seafaring nation state-began using the canvases of sailing vessels as surfaces to apply their paints. These canvases were made from durable fibers such as linen, flax and abaca. It is for this reason that these now famous works have survived to us through the ages.
Using these same fibers, I have embellished on this idea and created an actual painting method that is just as durable and permanent, and pigmented with light-fast colors to match the rich hues of nature.
My process provides a textured, almost three-dimensional quality to the painting’s surface, thus mimicking nature in all its splendor . . . from its rocky crevices along the ocean shoreline, subtle shadows in a garden path, the fullness and detail of a treed landscape, and the smooth surface of a still lake.
Natural fibers, beaten into thick coats of pigmented pulp, provides the perfect media with which to create these modern interpretations of representational art.