Thursday, June 11, 2009

Experiments in Surface Textures, for Painting

In the past few weeks I've been experimenting with trying to make the best surface to paint on, a surface I could stick with for years to come and not look back on and wish I'd been more responsible about my painting surfaces. Over the years, I've tried painting on lots of different prepared surfaces, and so I thought it would be high time to try to lock down on one or two "responsible" ones- and by that I mean both archival and saleable- and by saleable I mean that someone purchasing the painting wouldn't feel cheated that the painting wasn't done on good materials. I don't think it can be too different than anything else, people appreciate good materials, and I have spent many years trying to paint on the cheapest stuff I could find, and thinking that it was all hogwash to worry about the quality of the surface, but that it was the painterly quality of the surface that mattered most- how it felt, responded, and looked. Part of the unspoken problem of drawing and painting on cheap materials, like newsprint, and plywood, and canvas glued to chipboard, is that you learn to like these surfaces. Better quality surfaces don't measure up. For example, and I know at least one artist who would agree with me (Brad Neiymeyer), there is no paper I like better for drawing than smooth newsprint with charcoal, and it is near to impossible to find a better quality substitute, nothing compares. This is the same for me with canvas, at least to this point, and I hope to make some sort of reasonable break-through in this department, if possible.

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