Artist Residency in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana

Artist Residencies

This past August, I completed a week-long Artist in Residence program with the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation where I hiked, drew, identified plant species, and made handmade paper on site from responsibly collected materials.

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The Mind’s Eye: Natural Places in Paper, a Community Public Art Project

Exhibitions, News, Workshops

Recently, I finished a public art project that involved nearly 200 Rhode Island seniors and CareLink staff members in the creation of handmade paper books.

The Mind’s Eye: Natural Places in Paper was created in honor of CareLink’s 20th Anniversary. Inspired by natural places, this project used paper pulp made from local plants to create circular book pages—25 books that are 20 pages long. Residents and staff were asked to think of outdoor places they have been, and something they enjoyed about their natural place, and create ‘paper pulp paintings’ and writings in response. Their memory was as simple as the ocean water surface, trees in full bloom, or the perfect blue sky.

May Babcock, handmade paper, papermaking artist

Installation at Paperworks Pop-Up Gallery in Providence

Exhibitions

In or around the Providence, Rhode Island this January? I’m happy to announce an installation of new papermaking artwork at the Paperworks downtown storefront.

On view are 6 handmade paper works. Each has a portion of previously made works (ranging from cast pulp prints, silkscreen prints, seaweed books, river mud books) embedded in transparent abaca fiber.

More interesting, in this alternative space, it was exciting to view these as 2-sided works. Depending on the lighting and time of day, these paper pieces transform dramatically. I’m still planning on stopping by a few more times to see how they change!

pulp painting artist - May Babcock - handmade paper

Studio Textures, Pulptypes, and a Noble & Wood Beater

General, Inspiration

Happy 4th! Enjoy some detail shots of what’s going on my studio recently. Lots of small pulp painting/pulptype experiments and making friends with my new(ish) beater. Yep, I now have a little monster of a Noble & Wood Hollander Beater.

Land Studies: paper art by May Babcock

Land Studies: New Work by May Babcock

Exhibitions, News, Projects

I’m happy to announce my latest show, Land Studies, a solo exhibition of  my new papermaking work at the AS220 Project Space Gallery in Providence. It’s my first Rhode Island art show! Take a look at my new pulp paintings and  sculptural papermaking installations based on sites around Rhode Island and coastal New England.

Sculptural Papermaking Workshop at AS220

General, How-To, Inspiration, Workshops

After a run of some popular basic hand papermaking classes at the AS220 Print Shop, a sculptural papermaking class seemed to make sense. Pulp painting is fantastic, but so is taking advantage of the artistic potential of paper to be three-dimensional. Working with paper pulp or freshly formed, wet sheets opens up a world of sculptural techniques that utilize how wet paper sheets dry and the remarkable memory that paper fibers have. Lindsey Beal and I had a great time showing a range of sculptural techniques in this debut class. Check out some photos from the workshop!

Phragmites Australis can be Made into Paper

How-To, Inspiration, Workshops

Phrag is everywhere. And that’s not exactly a good thing. Common reed (Phragmites Australis) is an invasive plant commonly found near waterways and especially near construction sites, ditched marshes, roadside ditches, and other disturbed sites. With such a plentiful fiber used in other areas of the world for papermaking with loaded environmental significance, I decided to process a handful of these monstrous plants into pulp and paper. Keep scrolling for directions on how I turned something unwanted into paper.