Go here to read Part 1 of this article on Meg Black's method for paper pulp painting. Painting with over beaten pulp can take a while to get comfortable with. Before going into a lot of detail of how to work with over-beaten pulp, let answer the important question of is over-beaten pulp? Over-beaten pulp refers to pulp that has been beaten in a hollander beater for approximately 8 hours and is therefore slippery and gelatin-like. Most artists prefer to use abaca (which originates from the banana tree) or flax as over-beaten pulp. The consistency of over-beaten pulp allows it to be used like paint as it spreads easily onto the work surface and retains, without bleeding or fading, whatever pigment the artist chooses to add. The advantage of using over-beaten pulp over traditional paint is the textural surface and flexibility that the artist can achieve, giving the finished product a unique and personal look. Re-working into a handmade paper painting is tricky. The water used in the pulp that is applied to the surface of the in-progress painting warps it, and it can take a fair amount of labor to re-stretch the painting so that it lies flat again. To off-set the negative effects of adding water to the surface and prevent the warping, I dry the base sheet (the sheet of paper that I will ultimately work on), onto a stretched screen. The hairs of the fiber cling to the surface of the screen and grip to it, thus preventing the paper from warping. When the painting is complete, I simply remove it from the screen with my finger tips. The term can be used to describe a lot of the made up concoctions I use to create a handmade paper painting. My favorite tools are an embroidery needle wedged into the eraser end of a number 2 pencil. I use this tool to guide the pulp, usually over-beaten, into desired shapes and patterns. For example, in the photo above, I am scratching into the surface of the painting newly applied over-beaten pulp that resembles waving reeds, the title of this particular painting. I also use a squeeze bottle to hold over-beaten pulp that can be used for detailed areas of the painting. In this photo, I am squeezing over-beaten pulp, which has been diluted in a cup of formation aid, onto the surface of the painting Seasons shown here in completion. The turkey baster is used to apply larger quantities of pulp to the painting surface. I place approximately one cup of pigmented pulp into a plastic container (such as a yogurt container) and fill the rest of the container with water. I then suck the pulp up into the baster and squirt onto the surface of the painting. Old plastic cards (credit cards, hotel room cards) can be used at this stage to gather the pulp into the designated area. Another way to remove colored water before it stains the surface of the painting is to squirt it back into the desired location with water from a squirt bottle. Notice that the pulp I am using is green for the foreground of the painting (the green will eventually represent trees). To accentuate the rough outline that trees would naturally make, I leave the edges of the green pulp jagged, in order to mimic the trees in nature. The purple toned background is created largely with over-beaten abaca and treated with a mixture of water and paper sizing to prevent the surface from absorbing stained water that might leak from the addition of any new colored pulp that is applied. In the case of this painting, that would refer to the green toned pulps in the foreground, which are a combination of cotton and abaca, beaten for 20 to 30 minutes in a hollander beater. The sky area is created with the same cotton/abaca mix, and pigmented in blue tones. At this stage, the painting will be allowed to dry under weights for several days, at which point another review of its completeness will be determined. After the painting is completely dry, it can be tacked to a wall for closer viewing and inspection. The painting can be worked on even in this stage. I mark the areas with a colored grease pencil in which I want to make changes and then replace the painting back onto the flat work surface seen in previous blogs. I add additional PVC glue to the pulp that I will now apply in order for it to adhere to the already dried pulp.