Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Original Works of Art on Paper - Vote!

While I love painting on canvas, I equally enjoy painting on paper. Painting with Acrylics (or oils for that matter) can easily be done on a nice heavy weight paper such as a watercolor paper (I prefer Arches Cold Pressed papers but also use their mixed media paper). Unlike with watercolors, I always gesso the paper first, leaving to dry flat (no taping the edges/corners). While the weight of the paper is more like canvas, it has a very smooth surface unlike canvas which, for me, brings a different kind of freedom and brushwork to these paintings.

Now - the age old question - but how should they be presented?

Option 1: float framing under glass

Watercolors are often presented under a mat and frame with glass. While this is an option, since I don't have to leave a white border for taping down my paper while I work, I prefer painting all the way to the edge and leaving a nice uneven deckled edge on the paper. Recently, I have been framing these pieces with a float frame method (using a spacer between the matboard on which the artwork is mounted, edges showing, and the glass). You can find out more about float framing in my previous post HERE, although I tend to leave out the extra mat now and just frame to the edge of the paper as shown above. While I love this look, it is time-consuming and a bit of a materials investment. So...

Option 2: mounting on bamboo panels

As I was looking into new ways to present my prints, I came across this lovely little product by Plywerk that provides a backing to your print using bamboo in an interesting patterned cross-section. While I like this look, I was looking for something a little deeper. So, I emailed them to ask if they would make such a thing - and what do you know - it's currently in the works! As I was admiring this product I started to think it might be interesting to mount original art on them as well (I've been planning out a 100 flock of birds series, with 100 individual little paintings, which would look great on these!)

But - they would look great with float framing too!! Argh... I can't decide!

So what's a girl to do? Ask my customers! Here's your chance to cast a vote - FLOAT FRAMING or MOUNTED on BAMBOO (like picture shown but about twice the depth). What do you think?




Amanda Makepeace said...

I voted for the Bamboo; which puts things in a tie. Hope this helps:

You're in the EBSQ Friday Five!

Jennifer Lommers said...

Thanks Amanda! Well, so far I could proceed either way... hmmm.

Rochelle said...

Speaking as a framer, I voted for under glass. Reason being, paper as a substrate is more fragile than canvas. Also, I don't trust adhesives to be archival or to not eventually yellow your art. Part of archival quality is also being reversible. I use heavy paper for a variety of mediums too and I either mat under glass or float frame. Your work is beautiful

Jennifer Lommers said...

Hi Rochelle - yes, I understand your points. The adhesive is archival. And given my paintings are so thick in paint and texture I'm not as worried about the elements having a huge role in deterioration of the paper and expect the bamboo to be considered a part of the art, not just a backing from which the art will be later removed. Your points are valid, though, and definitely reflect the conservative nature of framers (not necessarily the creative side of artists :-) Think Pollock!

Melanie Grace Designs said...

The bamboo is super cool. I like the feeling that one could reach out and touch it even if you wouldn't really want them to.

Jessi McNeal said...

Another question for you.... do you stretch your paper first, or simply gesso it and let it dry? And if it's the latter, does it buckle at all? I've been doing some mixed media on watercolor paper but have been stretching and taping the paper onto on board before I start... Would love to bypass taping it. Curious about your process. Thanks!

Jennifer Lommers said...

Hi Jessi,

I have found when painting with acrylics/oils without thinning the paint much that stretching the paper is unnecessary. If you lie it flat after each painting session it pretty much stretches itself. Of course, still starting with the paper gessoed, just not taped.

Best! Jennifer

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