March 09, 2019

More on Surfaces

Lets just have this to say, 'art' at its closest core is an economy. It has a worth, trade and it continues. This is where the academics can jump in and the history of said. But let that alone for now, what is lovely about it is that maybe it is closest to an autonomous economy, one that is natural.


Today as part of the events leading up to a new group exhibit opening one contributing artist, Joshua Miles gave a discussion and explanation of his process. Coming all the way out from Prince Albert. It was so inspirational and a great opportunity I'm glad I could get to earlier today. His work is heartrendingly clear and accurate, and beautiful to look at, each composition. I am in awe and think it is great we have secured some of his art to sell of the subjects he often depicts ie the Karoo here, further into the Karoo. 

I am thinking about his media. His works are both subjective and objective and therefore thoroughly engaging. One wonders if there isn't a better way of picture making altogether. And fine art for that matter indeed. The thing is I try to avoid labels and or names, but in this case I hope it is appropriate and certainly well intended. 

When it comes to media the paper is the thing sold. Its got evidence of a brain which changed it. Thats important, thats what you want. So, theres only so much you can do to it, but there is your tradition, sort of what it is supposed to be. You are already a part of that before the first mark,. I will not talk about expensive papers here though, I want to tell you about (drum roll) ... lining paper!

It is the reason so many more people do not paint with watercolours. Fine art papers are expensive, actually why is that, I might ask myself? There isnt a wide range of paper options generally speaking for creative purposes. Sketch books, fat pads, canvas pads these things are all too expensive (generally) where I come from. So, what does one do, you hear about an amazing thing called lining paper. I am sorry for those of you who are bored reading this by now.

Lining paper has a long and gracious history it can all be found on wiki. I just had no clue until a good friend of mine conversing the things we both like mentioned it. Suppliers in my surrounds give me a range from relatively thin to a heavy enough gram-mage. So this could work to print.

The difference is I get a roll of paper, 10m by 1 as apposed to a tenth of that on option 2!  Here is just one example I picked up which I think if you look at it, will weigh in at the difference, the one that separates the painters from the Sunday painters. I will not mention names. And I have not undergone investigating the 'long lifedness' of such papers, but perhaps I will be organised enough to say I know next time I write here, which is fine because that is seldom enough.

Gouche Study (awful paper!)

  Good papers are so cool dont get me wrong, I have a few favourites in the range, but I would prefer to attempt in the long run to make my own. Certain qualities are experienced by investigation. For me I would have to say it is the actual texture but in a fair ratio with perhaps 'absorptive-ness' in a way that makes the pigment settle that extra bit more interestingly.

There are factors here for sure.. these things are so exciting. The relative absorptive quality being equivalent to a sort of desired degree of saturation specifically or one could say transparency and then be referring again to the paper specifically, the surface. Maybe it works for me and not anyone else. With lino or printing and inks I have no comment but I more or less understand the tools and operation. Opacity (relative) becomes a different sort of player, hey ..

 So you see, surfaces are the thing! And I will say I have made and sold paintings done on lining paper, and in fact prefer it to many varieties of "surfaces" you get out there. Definitely. It is such a thrill as I know the wisest of the wise (amateur) watercolourists will tell you.. there's nothing like it, akin to laundry day and a new bed, for an abstraction. Of course the investigating is whats fun, with Joshua I am amazed because the colour is so strong and yet the edges are all perfectly controlled. Within his process with a chisel the drawing is done and reduced almost like a mold slowly disintegrating away and at the same time transforming into the cast. I am all for it.

Watercolours on lining paper 420mm/2

Thanks for reading and pop a comment to be sure if you like, I am in the mean time looking to upload a few more surfaces to the resources menu. Stay tuned for topics like this one ..

More of Joshua Miles below: