Have you ever written your name on sand? Chiseled your lover's initials on a tree trunk and brushed off the splinters with your hand? Pushed your fingers into the soil to plant a seed? Do you remember the graininess of the sand particles? the rough uneven edges on the bark? the chalkiness left between your fingers once you pulled your hand from the ground? I love those textures.
The idea of trying out Indian paper for my pastels came out of a love for textiles and fibers. I wanted to test various surfaces and see if the pastels would hold and stay true to their colors. So, I went to Blick, a huge art store in NYC, and bought a bunch of different color Indian paper. As a writer, I love paper in general, but Indian paper, also known as shizen paper, is made of recycled cotton rags, not trees, and so my love for it has grown that much greater.
After I returned from a trip to New Mexico where I fell in love with the land, light and expansive landscapes, I did my first piece on Indian paper in an effort to capture the textures of that beautiful, massive earth. This particular image, was one of the first ones I did, if not the first, you can literally see the fibers on the paper. Since my New Mexico series, I've experimented much more, and my love for the raggedness of the paper and its interaction with pastels has deepened further. I also did a three part piece which I threaded together with wool, all in the name of experimentation and texture. We will see where the threading leads me.
Working my fingers through Indian paper reminds me of bark, touch, rope. It braids me into connection with Source.
It grounds me.