PJ Bergin, the contemporary abstract artist, makes her home in Salida Co, a town surrounded by natural beauty and a lot of artistic energy. PJ works amid the activity of the downtown area, not far from the river, furthering her exploration of the texture and 3 dimensional qualities that have become essential to her artwork. Finding mediums to create these effects is how PJ continues to challenge herself when creating new bodies of work for her portfolio.
With her eye on these challenges PJ recently changed her focus from what kept her busy in the studio for many years. A new stage has begun in her career with the discovery of a unique medium in which to experiment. She is now working with handmade paper from Korea. The papers are made from the mulberry plant which provides the many attractions to what is important to PJ and her goals for her artwork. A wide palette of colors keeps the visual appetite stimulated and encourages new color combinations. The creation of “hills and valleys” of texture comes easily once the paper gets wet and is manipulated by gently rolling and “crunching” it. The actual technique for this process is called “Joomchi”. As in the past, PJ is discovering an ancient and traditional art form that she is now taking to a new level of contemporary artwork.
PJ builds on many years in the studio working with other media, applying expertise and all-new techniques to mulberry paper. “Creating artwork that combines the same sculptural qualities that my clients recognize with new dimensions of color and pattern is what this body of work is all about,” PJ explained to a recent visitor.
Moving forward with this spirit of experimentation, PJ is also melting beeswax and applying it as a finishing detail of the new artwork. As PJ learns more about this encaustic-like technique, seeing how the mulberry paper responds to it, is just the beginning. “I have a feeling the possibilities of Joomchi are endless!” she says