Preston Sampson, Artist


The art of pulp painting

Preston Sampson at workPulp painting is the technique of applying pigmented pulp into handmade paper as the sheet of paper is being formed.  In essence the creation of the paper is the creation of the image as well.

Within the broad field of handmade paper art, pulp painting is an emerging specialty attracting many artists with backgrounds in painting, drawing, printmaking, and other disciplines. To create a pulp painting, specially prepared pulps are applied to a freshly made sheet of handmade paper in a number of ways, sometimes with the aid of stencils, sometimes freehand, resulting in a finished sheet of paper that fully incorporates the image. The synthesis of substrate, medium, and image is a unique characteristic of the pulp painting medium There's a fresco aspect to papermaking. The pigment impregnates the material rather than sits on top of it. Paper-pulp painting is not a work on paper, it is a work of paper.

Sampson began pulp painting in 1997 and has enjoyed  seeing his progression and evolution interpreting the medium. “ One of the aspects of pulp painting that I most enjoy is the fluidity and surprise of the medium.  The fiber takes a life of its own and often takes me on very unexpected paths, preconceived notions of what the work should look like have been replaced with anticipation…letting the material do what it does and enjoying the ride.

Sampson’s pulp paintings have been collected by Yale University, Dallas Museum of African American Art, Dreamworks and the Montreaux Jazz Festival,as well as numerous other private and public collections.


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