JIM MEILANDER works with many diverse materials using a wide range of techniques: hand-papermaking, collage, printmaking, painting, drawing and sculpture. His abstract imagery is a playful personal synthesis of real and imaginary images. He is inspired by his natural and man-made physical surroundings, by objects used in work and play, and by pure fantasy.
In his recent handmade paper/mixed-media works, Jim has limited his palette to values of black and white, drawing upon a number of different techniques in the same artwork. His artistic process begins with his making sketches. Then, he creates a painting using a palette of pigmented abaca and cotton paper pulps, and paper made from plants growing in Mendocino County. He embeds collage elements into the paper and welcomes the varying neutral shades obtained from the natural colors of plant fibers in handmade papers and found materials. After the paper has dried, he continues to develop his design using acrylics, print media, collage, drawing materials and encaustic. As he works on the pieces, he allows for spontaneous images to develop.
JIM MEILANDER received his degree in art from Ohio University and has explored many art media since then including hand-papermaking, painting, sculpture and printmaking. He settled in San Francisco, where he collaborated with Joan Rhine, founding Submarine Paperworks in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1984. He moved home and studio to Gualala in 2000. In addition to art-making, he has designed and fabricated specialized papermaking equipment. In 2016 he finished restoring a 1966 Voith Valley (Hollander) Beater.
Jim’s work is exhibited in galleries internationally and in juried exhibits locally on the North Coast. His paper works were shown in “The Art of Paper” at Art Center, Ukiah, California, “Expressions in Handmade Paper 3” at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka, and American Craft Council’s Baltimore and San Francisco Craft Shows. Exhibits at Gualala Arts in Gualala, California include “New Directions in Handmade Paper: The Deckle Edge”, the 2011 “May Show” and “North Coast Mastery”, organized by the Baulines Craft Guild. He has received many awards including First Place in Collage & Mixed-Media at Gualala Art Centers’ “Art in the Redwoods” in 2008 and 2012 and First Place in Printmaking in 2015. Jim is a founding member of the Northern California based group of handmade paper artists “The Deckle Edge” and is an active member of the international papermakers’ organization “Friends of Dard Hunter”.