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Jane Eccles: The Art of Wet Pulp Painting

December 22, 2021 - March 6, 2022

Jane Eccles, a year-round resident of Cape Cod, paints primarily in oils en plein aire. She is also an award-winning pastel artist and an internationally known papermaker. She received the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Fellowship for distinguished work in Printmaking.

Her art is in several museum collections: Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Firestone Library of Princeton University, Rutgers Zimmerli Museum, Newark Museum, and the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland, as well as many corporate and private collections.

Learn about Jane Eccles' process in this video.

"In the 1970's, I began to pursue the study of etching as an alternative to painting. This activity lead to an interest in the archival qualities of various papers and how they were processed, followed by my "hands on" approach to the formation of paper from hydrated plant fibers.

I developed some proficiency in both Oriental and Western styles of papermaking. However, I decided to concentrate on Western style of sheet forming using a mould and deckle, because it offered greater flexibility in shaping the edges and content of the piece. Layered on top of a cotton pulp base sheet was the linen pulp, which I colored with a mixture of raw pigments and methyl cellulose. This colored pulp was my palette. Once all the materials were assembled, I could work quickly and spontaneously. In this respect, papermaking recalled the abstract painting that I had enjoyed earlier, but was unable to maintain for various reasons.

Prior to moving to the Cape and still living in Princeton, NJ, I made several trips to Soho in lower Manhattan, where a well-known papermaking studio, Dieu Donne, offered assistance in producing the art of handmade paper. This studio catered to established artists, such as David Hockney, Frank Stella, Chuck Close, and Kenneth Noland. On a number of occasions, fellow New Jersey artists and I rented the studio together and produced work there with the assistance of the Dieu Donne staff. It was a valuable learning experience.

But when we moved to Cape Cod in 1991, renting Dieu Donne wasn't really feasible. So I rigged together an adequately sized vacuum table in my studio. When a handmade paper piece was ready, it was then carefully transferred from the vacuum table and laid to dry between heavy large gypsum boards. "

- Jane Eccles


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