terry ann tomlinson

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I am really drawn to paper. Ever since I discovered the world of handmade paper while visiting Mexico in 2002, it has become my obsession. The accessibility of paper allows me to explore new ways of expressing my emotional life. The fragility and temporary qualities of paper are constant reminders of these aspects within myself and in the world around me.The undiscovered qualities of handmade paper stimulate my imagination. When I work , I begin with an idea. During the process, new images begin to emerge from the paper itself and from my subconscious. Inspired by the texture, color and unpredictability of wet pulp, the final work often evolves from the original concept. My work is abstracted in imagery, minimal in content, direct in feeling, all in an attempt to capture a glimpse of the spiritual reality that unites all forms of life.
When making paper I am connected to nature and its cycles in a direct way. The reoccurring theme that spontaneously appears in my art is transformation. Even the paper I make goes through the process of being destroyed in its original plant form, only to be transformed into a work of art. Repetition is another theme in my work. Partly it is driven by my obsession with the medium and the never ending possibilities hand papermaking provides. Mostly it is influenced by the repetition that exits in nature - forms repeating over and over, each with its own identity.

Fascinated by the harmony and the contrast of paper to the world around me, I cast, embed and collage the paper with a variety of materials such as metal, found objects, thread, mica and text to create my personal imagery. In some work I use nagashizuki, the Japanese papermaking technique, with traditional kozo and abaca fibers. I feel that these pieces further convey the more sensual, translucent and refined qualities inherent in handmade paper.

When making paper I am calm, centered and at peace. It is said that the paper reflects the paper makerís character. The papermaking process could be a way to self improvement. Each day I try to make better paper ....and better art.

Terry Tomlinson

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