Painting can involve acts of coloring, filling, or applying. Just like drawing, painting shapes a surface into a communication vehicle. Through its physicality, it is a record of the artist's gestures and thoughts, telling how each individual chooses to fulfill the potential of an open surface.
Thaïs usually paints with acrylic and ink, materials which react differently to dilution and layering. Ink is one of humanity’s oldest marking tools, its use in art and writing carries this long representation and communication history into the artist’s practice. Her black ink brushwork brings that medium’s fluidity and transparency to her drawn lines. Acrylic paint, a much more recent medium, is a wonderful mix of plasticity and versatility. Thaïs applies color with this modern, synthetic paint which allows her to bridge from watercolor translucency to oil’s vibrancy.
Papermaking is the water-based process of creating thin, flexible sheets of chemically bonded fiber. First, the papermaker boils her dried and cut plant material in a caustic solution, loosening and isolating the cellulose-containing fibers. After rinsing, this fiber is then beaten into a hydrated and fibrillated pulp able to evenly mesh and bond. The papermaker will then further dilute her pulp for sheet formation, during which water is filtered out using a mold and screen to leave behind an even but loose layer of fiber. These wet sheets gain their strength through pressing and drying as hydrogen bonds are established between fibers.
Thaïs's paper is largely made with cotton and abaca. Cotton, a short almost pure cellulose fiber able to hold large amounts of water, takes ink beautifully and is a favorite of printmakers. Abaca brings translucency to Thaïs's recent work. The abaca plant, a species of the banana tree, grows leaves with very long and strong fibers, building very fine and translucent paper sheets.
Printmakers work within four categories: relief, intaglio, planographic and stencil printing. Relief printing transfers the uppermost surface of an object onto paper, creating endless possibility for the translation and reduction of an image from 3 to 2 dimensions. Intaglio printing is far less intuitive as it involves transferring ink from the crevasses in a flat surface onto paper. This process captures both the ink from the printing surface and its dimensionality; it is a highly textural and indirect approach to image making.
Stencils are most people's first knowledge of print. The liberating spontaneity they allow and the simplicity of the process brings together everyone, from exploring children to professional artists. On the other end of the spectrum is planographic printing. Planography, any printing done with a flat surface, is the least well known, as well as the least accessible, of these techniques. Lithography is a planographic technique which depends on the hydrophobic nature of oil-based inks to shape an image on the limestone matrix. Though Thaïs's most recent work uses block printing, she has touched on all of these approaches in the past and intends to continue communicating with all printing techniques.