Overbeaten abaca refers to a fiber harvested from the inner bark of the banana tree, that has been beaten for approximately 20 hours. Abaca is a gorgeous fiber, ivory in color, that will not disintegrate when wet, which is why abaca is used to make tea bags. I strain some of the water from the abaca (the abaca is beaten in a hollander beater, which uses approximately 20 gallons of water per beating), and mix it with pure pigment, which will not fade. I apply the abaca to the surface of the painting, shown in the pevious blog, with spoons and an old turkey baster. www.megblack.com www.megblackprints.com
The painting is laid flat on the vacuum table. Small cups of pigmented overbeaten abaca are set on top of the base painting ready to be applied to the surface. These colors will become the "paint" for the painting. I have gridded the surface so that I know approximately where to place the colors. Once applied, the overbeaten pulp will require 24 hours to dry, and that is with the assistance of a fan. www.megblack.com www.megblackprints.com
This painting will be a abstract seascape when complete. I will be using overbeaten abaca, cotton rag pulp, pure pigments, plastic spoons, old credit cards, screening, and yogurt cups to make this painting. The first stage of the painting is shown here. I have poured cotton pulp onto screening and allowed it to dry. The screening hold the pulp and prevents it from warping. I then grid the surface so that I know where each color of the original photo needs to be placed. I am ready to add colors into the gridded areas at this stage. Here we go!
A busy week in the studio! I have just completed this new painting of a Tuscan Village scape for a private patron. Made with overbeaten and cotton pulp, it was a pleasure to work on and I am pleased with the outcome.
My latest work is a wall relief based on the symmetry of Ancient Greek art. The Ancient Greeks created intriguing compositions by balancing and counterbalancing shapes, colors and figures throughout their pottery. These designs told a story, and the viewer was welcome to "read" it according to their ability to interpret Greek mythology. This four panel work balancing color and shape on either end with the middle panels both playing off the end panels and acting as a resting area for the eye. In this way, the concept of Ancient Greek art is being imitated, even though the subject is considered "abstract" or "color field."