I will be featured on the Sunday Paper Podcast

I am happy to announce I will be featured on a upcoming podcast for the Sunday Paper, a weekly newsletter for pulp painters and papermakers. The Sunday Paper is published each Sunday by Helen Hiebart Studio.

I will be interviewed in August and the podcast will be available in the Fall. Check back for updates.

If you can’t make it to the sea this summer, follow me as I paint it.

The Cape Ann Seacoast, the inspiration for the painting.

Like many of us, I am drawn to the primodial pull of the sea. For me, it is not just any seashore, but the north Atlantic, with its harsh terrain, ice cold water, and thunderous crashing waves. Here, rocks are thrown to the shore by an unrelenting tide.  The rocks are stronger than the water, but the water can be fiercer and can move the rocks at will. This is for me the metaphor for our own lives: we long for smoothness of the water, but we are shaped by the steeliness of the rocks.  
Using an array of textures and colors to illustrate this metaphor, I will depict in my painting this emotional pull of the sea and tell my story much like a poet would use words. 
As you move with me through this creative process, feel free to chime in and ask questions. I have been sharing my process on Instagram live. For updates on live sessions, follow me at https://www.instagram.com/megblackstudios/
And as always, thank you for your support.
Meg


The Genesis of the painting: preparing the background drawing.

The yet to be titled painting at the end of the first week of work.
A black and white print of the image is laid out on the surface of the poured sheet. A sheet of carbon paper is sandwiched underneath. I use a bone folder to trace the image onto the poured sheet as a guide.
The painting in its early stages of completion.

Next week, the painting will be adhered to the frame. The final size will be 40 x 40 x 4 inches.

Meg Black Handmade Paper Paintings: Process and technique

Pulp in small jars, ready to be applied to the surface of the painting with a plastic spoon. I love how I can use recycled materials such as plastic spoons in my work. I keep finding good use for cheap plastic spoons.

I am constantly asked by viewers and other artists: why do you “paint” with handmade paper?  Why not use “paint?”, referring to oil paint or watercolor.  The direct answer is this: the texture created by the pulp is so unique that it almost creates a three dimensional affect right on the surface of the painting.

Nowhere is this more evidenced than in the seascape series I am currently working on inspired by my visits to the North Atlantic coast.  I have taken photos of my latest painting in progress and have attempted to show the different textures of pulp as they are being applied to the painting.

 

 

 

 

As the painting progresses towards completion, I will include more photos in the composition.  Enclosed are several photographs of overbeaten abaca (abaca is the inner bark of the banana tree.  Overbeaten abaca is beaten in a hollander beater for 10 hours until the consistency of a thawed can of frozen orange juice) being applied to the surface of the painting using plastic spoons.  To create the thicker dabs of abaca, I take a cup of overbeaten abaca and strain it in a strainer until it is the consistency of wet clay.  I then freeze it.  Once frozen and then thawed, the abaca will retain a chunky quality.  I place a tablespoon of the abaca into a cup, add pigment, acid free glue, and three tablespoons of retention aid to the abaca and stir.  This mixture creates the affect of crashing waves, barnacles on rocks, and under water pools of rocks and pebbles.  I’ll post more photos as this painting progresses!

The painting in progress.

Meg Black Handmade Paper Paintings: Lilly Pond at Dawn



My husband bought two kayaks this summer.  Mine is so small, 9 feet, that I can shove it into the back of my station wagon and shut the back door!  Early in the morning, late August, I drove to Stiles Pond in Boxford, Ma and spent an hour paddling and photographing the pond in the early morning.  I created two paintings from that morning excursion.  The first is titled “The Pond in Early Morning.”  The second painting is titled “Pond Still Life.”

Meg Black Handmade Paper Paintings: Atlantic Inspirations






Yesterday I posted a blog describing my journey to the Atlantic Seaside in Autumn.  Anyone who has ever had the chance to wander around the coastline this time of year knows of the thrill of being alone in such a vast space.  I am working on paintings in my studio of the photos I took while exploring the coast.  Also, very exciting!, the Peabody Museum in Salem Ma. is displaying twelve of my sea coast prints!  I’ve enclosed a photo of the prints installed in the museum.

Handmade Paper Paintings: process and education

I have been a papermaker for 25 years.  The question I am most frequently asked is: how do you make you handmade paper paintings?  Recently, I added a page to my web site that describes my process.  I decided to share it here as I have been receiving positive reviews for my efforts.  Please feel free to visit my web site www.megblack.com for more information about my handmade paper paintings!  Thank you for taking the time  to read my blog!  Meg Black