Paula Menchen: Natural Layers - Raw Materials

Finding a harmonious language between drawing, printmaking and painting, Paula Menchen experiments with each material deconstructing the surface and transforming each medium and their rules into one. Having majored as a painter in University, she uses painting as a means of experimentation, playing with the ideas of vast spaces typically using landscape and seascapes as inspiration and a starting point. She is not looking for a formula to reproduce but rather a constant curiosity with a sense of discovery.

"I have been researching all kinds of techniques on paper. Stenciled, stamped, dyed and resist techniques create a palette of color and textures. Poetically investigating the intersections and methods of each process, I combine the tactility of Japanese Washi Paper with painting and printmaking to create intricate patterns and layered surfaces. I use mostly handmade processes in different ways, inserting them into my paintings, essentially painting with paper. The idea is to slow down and investigate techniques from the past and effectively discover new methods for the future.

My inspiration for intricate patterns comes from the Katagami patterns of Japan. Part of my investigation involves discovering the structure of painting and mark making. I document objects by stamping them on paper to create a material record and then incorporate them into my work through collage. An ongoing project I have been working on is Natural Layers – Raw Materials. Investigating the spaces in-between, I have been working on a series of prints exploring the concept of borders and intersections. From natural to man made borders, I investigate the intersections of physical printed borders and patterns, connecting raw materials.

With the arrival of Covid-19, I am looking at landscape as a starting point once again but reflecting and seeing it very differently than before. At a time when the world has stopped I have turned to art to uplift my soul and sooth the reality that surrounds me. Nature’s warmth, energy and innate quality to transform and renew itself keeps me connected to possibilities and hopes of a better future. In the artist community, I can see that people are looking to new ways to keep creating and sharing. I am optimistic that through creativity we can push humanity forward, unlocking the potential to think and dream and allowing for ideas and a constructive discourse to propel us forward. I am hopeful that we will find the way into an enlightened space, quieting the roar of Covid-19 and its path of destruction, bringing an end to these unsettling times."

To see more of Paula's work, visit her at, on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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