I have been working with pulp paintings since 2008. Previously, my work was traditional painting with both oil and acrylics. In 2005, I participated in a papermaking workshop in Denmark. It was basic papermaking with some botanical elements. I never thought that I would be able to do papermaking again and even be able to learn new techniques. Pulp painting seems to me a unique way of painting. The fact that the painting is in the paper, not on the paper, makes this process even more fascinating.
In my painting series Flying Thoughts, for example, I am talking about how chaotic it is to move to another country and build our lives in unusual conditions. The rock-like shapes in these paintings struggle to keep balance in the chaos created with an intuitive combination of playful colors. The watercolor-like background adds depth to the painting separating it from the floating shapes in the foreground.
I begin my pulp paintings with a base sheet of abaca, beaten for 2 hours and then formed in a deckle box mould. The paper is couched on fabric or interfacing to give me the freedom to move the wet sheet for temporary storage or to turn the sheet over to paint on the other side. Recycled paper is mixed into the pulp used to form the base sheet and some sheet threads are added as a hanging device. My painting pulp is cotton rag and flax beaten very short.
The paintings are made with five stencil pieces, 12 colors painting pulp. This pulp is mixed with PEO formation aid before thinning with water and applied with both squeeze bottles and brush. There were four painting steps with a wait between each and up to 6 colors applied during a single step.
I pressed the paintings in a 20-ton press and dried them in a restraint drying system or attached to a stretched canvas or other type of support while still wet. Either drying technique allows the paintings to dry smooth and flat. Work dried on a support can be displayed without further framing. Many of these techniques, I learned at the Southwest School of Art & Craft, San Antonio, Texas.
I attended Riga College of Applied Arts from 1985 to 1989. In 1999, I received a BA from the Latvian Academy of Art in restoration and painting. In 2001, I received postgraduate master’s workshop diploma in painting. I have participated in many Latvian and international art events and had numerous solo exhibitions. I also received public art commissions in Latvia and Denmark.
I have attended encaustic painting classes at Stamp Antonio as well as papermaking, book arts, printmaking, letterpress and mosaic classes at the Southwest School of Art & Craft. Papermaking and pulp painting have become my primary interests.
In 2006, I became a member of SAVA (San Antonio Visual Artists) and, in 2010, a member of Texas Wax San Antonio. In 2009, one of my hand-made paper works was awarded the 2nd place in a juried group show Art and Archeology at SAVA gallery, San Antonio.