“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” – Robert McKee
When we think about storytelling, a tale of good defeating evil or someone achieving the impossible comes to mind. For me, printmaking is a form of storytelling that allows me to express my ideas without words. My work is a combination of sketches, large woodcut prints, and various handmade papers. In this series of woodcut prints, everyday moments are told through objects. We are constantly interacting with objects, and through these interactions, an object is given its own story. The mud on a pair of boots, the light from a lamp, and the scratches on a piece of wood all have a tale to tell. Each print is a story within a story, and the stories differ depending on the viewer.
Recently, I have been exploring narrative subjects in handmade paper and pulp painting. I consider papermaking to be one of the most engaging art forms. Like printmaking, papermaking is a process that uses paper, but the paper is handmade from various fibers that are cooked and beaten into pulp to create unique sheets of paper. The sheets are made from fibers such as abaca, cotton rags, Thai kozo, cotton linters, gampi, and others.
The Arabber is a series of prints and pulp paintings inspired by my great grandfather. He was an arabber, someone who sold fruits and vegetables from a horse drawn cart. All images are made using different handmade papers and techniques. The small prints are a depiction of the daily life of an arabber in Baltimore Maryland. In the pulp paintings, the main focus of the piece is the cart and its contents. The first pulp painting of the series was made using cotton rag pulp that was slightly tinted yellow. The pulp was poured into a mould using a deckle box. The sheet was removed from the mould between two felts and flatten in a press making a 21 ½ x30 sheet of paper. A stencil of the image was then painted onto the sheet using a combination of finely beat cloth rag pulp mix with pigment, methyl cellulose, and formation. The image was then painted using the same method, pressed and placed into a drying system for three days.