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 received his degree in art from Ohio University. He settled in San Francisco, where he established Submarine Paperworks in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard with his wife Joan Rhine in 1984. In 2000 he moved to Gualala. In addition to art-making, he has designed and fabricated specialized papermaking equipment. In 2016 he finished restoring a 1966 Voith Valley (Hollander) Beater.
Among his many honors, Jim won Best of show in 2018 in Putting it All Together with his artwork Presence and Absence, First Place in Collage & Mixed-Media at Art in the Redwoods, Gualala Art Center, in 2008 and 2012 and First Place in Printmaking in 2015.
Recent exhibits in California include “The Art of Paper” at Ukiah’s Art Center and
“Expressions in Handmade Paper 3” at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka. Jim is a founding member of the Northern California based group of handmade paper artists “The Deckle Edge”, and an active member of the international paper makers’ organization “Friends of Dard Hunter.”