In-Town Gallery Hosts In The Moment Exhibit By Traci Paden

Sunday, February 25, 2018
Secret Place, pulp painting, by Traci Paden
Secret Place, pulp painting, by Traci Paden

In-Town Gallery’s front wall feature for March will be unique, pulp paintings by Traci Paden.  See these brightly colored and heavily textured works at the opening reception on Friday.  The First Friday show openings, a longstanding tradition, is an opportunity to meet artists, see new trends in art and purchase art.  The opening reception will be from 5-8 p.m. at 26A Frazier Ave. between the bridges on Chattanooga’s North Shore. 

Review for Traci Paden:

Paden is widely known for her beautiful, dyed silk scarves and jackets,  now being shown in several states.  “A few years ago, I got the itch for a new creative challenge," said Ms. Paden. "I found the answer when I first saw the artwork of Chery Cratty.  I began my journey with Pulp Painting when I received a Master/apprentice grant from Tennessee Craft to study with the woman who developed this particular method of painting with pulp.  Chery Cratty and I worked together for six months, over 300 hours of  study.  During this time, I was able to create my own style and vision of the pulp painting method that she developed 15 years ago.  Three years later, I feel that I have a body of work that I would like to share."   

Environmentally friendly, pulp paint is a little known, water-based medium that is made from cooked plants.  The fillers and impurities are washed away leaving pure cellulose which forms the binder for the pigments.  Pigment is a dry colorant usually in powder form with high tinting power.  In the arts pigment is added to a binder that gives the paint its adhesion.   Other binders define the differences in mediums.  Oil paint  is bound by linseed oil, acrylics are made from a plastic-type binder and watercolor pigments are suspended in gum arabic.    

Paden’s canvas is prepared by spraying black cotton pulp to create a rough, texture base.  Beginning with a photograph for inspiration she uses colored pencils to change the photo until reaching a composition she likes.  She then draws a sketch on the prepared canvas and begins to layer pulp with a palette knife.  Usually there is a buildup of seven to 10 layers before beginning the detail work which is drawn with a porcupine quill.  The finished result is a highly, textured, realistic image in an Impressionistic style and created “In The Moment”.     

These pulp paintings will be featured throughout the month of March.  The remainder of the gallery will have the works of wood turners, potters, sculptors, painters, jewelers, photographers, glass worker and fibre arts.   The gallery is open every day, year round, except for major holidays.  Hours are 11 a.m.-6 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday and until 8 p.m. on First Fridays.  Call 267-9214, visit and  

The Tree of Life, pulp painting, by Traci Paden
The Tree of Life, pulp painting, by Traci Paden

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