1977 - 1991: While working full time, M. Runnells exhibited in numerous group and one person shows largely in Illinois and surrounding states. Her work was developed out of the printmaking field studied in college and expanded through various midxed media expressions. From 1988 on, M. worked exclusively in the papermaking field.
1991 - 1995: M. participated in a predominance of national craft and fine art shows rather than gallery or group shows.
M. has been working as a papermaker for the past seventeen years. A graduate of Northwestern University, she majored in printmaking.However, the chemicals used in producing that work proved too toxic. So, she spent the next ten years journeying through various media until, by coincidence, she happened upon the art of making paper. It is in papermaking that she found her calling.
M. combines both Eastern and Western techniques and fibers to create her richly colored works. These pieces are fanciful interpretations of life in color and texture. While the works resemble paintings, no paint is used in their creation. Only pigmented fibers, manipulated into handmade paper sheets, are used to make her paper.
M.'s papermaking process beigns with Kozo (an oriental Mulberry tree sapling). It is cooked and then hand beaten with a wooden mallet or 2x4 for about two hours (this seperates and shortens the cellulouse fibers). Then the fibers are pigmented and used as a "base" layer on a screen. Cotton half-stuffs is beaten by machine anywhere from four to seven hours (depending on how the fiber will be used). These cotton fibers are also pigmented and used as another base layer.
On these base sheets, images are created via a transfer and resist method using pigmented cotton. The layering affect, with different colored pigmented cotton, allows M. to develop her unique artwork. All colors and form in the artwork are integral to the layered sheet of paper. When completed, the sheets are dried and other elements are sewn in.
Selected Exhibitions: ::
Smithsonian Craft Show; Washington DC
American Craft Exposition; Evanston, IL.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival; Denver, CO.
The St. Louis Arts Festival; St. Louis, MO.
The Plaza Fine Arts Show; Kansas City, MO.
American Craft Council Show; Baltimore, MD.
American Craft Show; Atlanta, GA.
American Craft Show; Sarasota, FL.
Milwaukee Lakefront Arts Festival; Milwaukee, WI.
Longs Park; Lancaster, PA.
Boca Museum Show; Boca Raton, FL.
Columbus Fine Arts; Columbus, OH.
Arts and Apples; Rochester, MI.
Madison Art Fair on the Square; Madison, WI.
Beaver Creek Arts Festival; Beaver Creek, CO.
Midewest Craft Show; Skokie, IL.
Port Clinton Art Festival; Highland Park, Illinois
Art Faire At Laumeier; St. Louis, Missouri