Pulp Painting

What is pulp painting?

Pulp painting is a process that uses pigmented paper pulp as a painting medium.  These fibers are beaten and combined to form a pulp.  I will often swirl inclusions, such as threads or metallic foil, into the pulp to create texture. Once the pulp is formed into a sheet, I place a series of mylar stencils on top of the still wet sheet. I spray finely beaten cotton pulp, pigmented various shades, onto the base sheet. I combine my use of stencils with free-form spraying to achieve gradations of color.  After the sheet is pressed and dried, the result is a sheet of unique paper, where the image itself is part of the paper fiber. Even though I use the same stenciled images multiple times, each sheet I create is unique, based on variations of sheet formation and pulp painting. 

These pulp-painted sheets are finished works of art, ready to be framed and displayed.  Although the pigmented fibers used in these sheets are more light-safe and permanent than using dyes, it is best to keep the artwork away from direct sunlight. If you decide to frame one of my pulp paintings, consider floating the sheet on top of the mat, exposing the unique deckle edge. All of my pieces come with a one-sheet description of the artwork. The artwork itself is signed by the artist.

What do buildings and birds have in common?

They're both part of my daily experience in Chicago.  Birds fit naturally with the pulp painting process, especially the feathery effects of the pulp paint.  Buildings present a different type of challenge. Pulp painting architectural imagery on handmade paper has allowed me to explore the paradox between material and subject matter, described by one curator as “the ethereal nature of the medium married with the hardness of contemporary architecture.” 

Own a unique piece of art.

My pulp paintings are truly unique.  I have worked to develop my own style of pulp painting and each piece turns out one-of-a-kind. I sell these pieces in person at art fairs (view my upcoming schedule), or online at lionofbali.com.

Watch the Process

Artist Don Widmer guides the viewer through this unique process of creating imagery within the fiber of handmade paper, called pulp painting.