About

Boats

Ellen C. McCord

Ellen McCord has a B.A. in Art from Nicholls State University, served as a past director of the South Louisiana Center for the Arts in Houma, has taught art privately in Lafourche and Terrebonne for more than five years, and has been involved in numerous public art projects and grants.

Paper Pulp Paintings

The paper pulp paintings are created in a process in which cotton linters and other recycled papers are over beaten and dyed so that the pulp is painted on a base sheet of paper using squeeze bottles. The water is then vaccuumed out of the paper and set to dry. Torn paper, string and other natural materials are used to add texture.

The Process

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Step 1
Shredded paper is where it all begins. I soak recycled paper in water and place them in a hollander (large blender) to create paper pulp.
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Step 2
This is my hollander.
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Step 3
Once the paper is made into pulp I pour it into buckets and pigment the paper.
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Step 4
Pigmented paper. I love making lots of different colors for my paintings.
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Step 5
Pigmented paper pulp in squeeze bottles waiting to become paintings.
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Step 6
Next I fill a large table with water. I then place a screen down to paint on. On top of that I place a frame or mold to the paper size I want to create. The bricks are used to keep the frame from floating away.
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Step 7
I then pour the paper into the mold to create a base sheet. The water in the table helps the paper to disperse evenly and the fibers of the paper to interlock.
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Step 8
Once there is enough paper to cover the mold I make sure that it is even.
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Step 9
Next I begin adding pigmented pulp. I either pour it in or squirt it with the squeeze bottles.
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Step 10
Here I am creating a sky.
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Step 11
Blending the paper.
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Step 12
Here is the painting nearing completion.
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Step 13
At the very end I add things into the paper such as music sheets, foil, yarn, etc.
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Step 14
Once I am finished I vacuum the water out of the table.
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Step 15
Lifting off the mold.
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Step 16
The painting is still very thick and spongy. It still has a lot of water in it.
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Step 17
I then cover the table with plastic to create a vacuum seal over the painting.
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Step 18
This takes the rest of the water out of the painting.
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Step 19
The plastic gets pretty tight against the painting.
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Step 20
The paper is compressed and very little water is left. It is now ready to be set aside to dry. Notice the difference in thickness compared to before the vacuum seal.
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Step 21
The painting is set on dryers to dry out. Depending on the thickness this could take about a day.
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Step 22
Drying.
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Step 23
This dryer helps circulate air above and below the painting.
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Step 24
After the painting is dry I add the details with chalk pastels and paint. This is the finished product. Notice the music sheets in the sky and metallic foils. This is a commissioned painting.
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