Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Get Well Yvette...and A Little Experiment

Yvette, at Felting Your Soul, is having some health challenges. Her blog friends are holding her up through a difficult time with a posting of this candle. I want to thank Martine for the image of this very special candle. You can read a bit more about it at Martine's blog. We all wish Yvette a very speedy recovery.

I have tried a little experiment....
...and they all do not work out.

I have been reading a lot about gessoing paper for painting. Now I am not much for doing paintings I have to eventually frame, but I was really curious about this. You are supposed to use heavy watercolor paper, gesso it (one or two thin coats) then paint on it as you would canvas. That is what I did with this piece. Now it really is nothing more than some paint left over from some other paintings I am doing...so nothing major was in the works here. I don't think I really got it, though. Why did I need to gesso the paper? What did that bring me? I felt as though I even had to be careful because of the added weight of the gesso. Do you think that is really the case?

Now, I am tossing this out to you. What am I missing with this? Is using the gesso on the paper a preservation technique? Does it make the painting longer lasting? Help me out here, my dear friends.

I can't say this is an experiment gone wrong, but I would like to learn more from it if you have some enlightening thoughts.

Everyone have a very special day! Yvette, feel better very soon.

29 comments:

Cestandrea said...

Oh another candle for Yvette, I'm sure she will be fine and better soon!
Kim this is interesting. Do you remember the floral and ornamental designs I have in the show in Germany? I did those on 200 gr(don't know how much that is in, what, ounces?, for your orientation, 300g is very thick watercolor paper) so, I used vinci paper 200g and directly poured the acrylic paint on it to make a colored ground. I didn't use gesso. Often I worked on this colored ground laying on many layers of paint, either with the brush or with a cloth. The paper didn't move at all and still is fine. I'd use gesso if I wanted a really white ground and use this white as a basis of my image. Otherwise I think you don't need it. The acrylic paints are so stable. And there are no waves in the paper neither! The only problem is that the handling is not the same as with a canvas, and you have to take care not leave marks on the edges of the paper...
Positive is that it's storing is less complicated if you don't have too much space and you can transport it easily...OK I stop here, this is an oversized comment!
Have a great day, experimenting and all
love
Andrea

Cestandrea said...

PS: Vinci paper is not for watercolor, more for opaque colors like gouache and tempera and acrylics, it is less absorbant than the watercolor paper and more stable!

Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

So the Vinci paper really makes sense with acrylics since the thicker ones really sit on top of the paper anyway, right?

Yes, this is what I am thinking too. The acrylics are so stable and if you use heavy enough paper or a watercolor blog (where the edges are glued and you don't have to stretch it), then you do not have the curling or waving issue, either. I remember those paintings and loved them a lot...I am very happy to know they have remained stable. See, I am just thinking this gesso business is really a step which is not needed.

You are right about the storage of paper works... Maybe that is a good thing to talk about, too. Storage of paintings seem to be an issue with me. Mmmm, you always bring up good subjects, Andrea!

Thanks so much. I love your long comments...although I know they also take time you do not have very often.

Love,

Kim

Cynthia said...

How kind of you to post this candle.
I tagged you over at Oasis if you want to check it out.

~Babs said...

What a beautiful thing for Yvette,,I'll check that out. (wonderful photo)

About the gesso,,,I agree with Andrea, for several reasons,,,but mostly as she said, if the paper is heavy enough, it's no problem without gesso. As for the archival properties of it, (the modern day formulation)the jury is still out on that. I haven't owned any gesso in years,,as I couldn't see the need. I too have papers that are at least 10 years old, and still doing fine.
I just found an excellent link about it, tells all anyone would care, (or need) to know about it. Origins, composition,etc.
It's original intent was because those 'old dead guys' painted often on wood, and their paints didn't adhere well. The early gesso was made to give a ground that paints would stay on.
Here's the link if anyone wants to read it, I thought it was interesting.
www.wisegeek.com/what-is-gesso.htm

(hope that's right)

Rachete said...

I like your painting!

http://racheteapaintersdiary.blogspot.com/

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I began putting gesso on my printmaking paper because I was painting with oils and I continued because my mixed media is such a mix...who knows what I use? I like framing, maybe because I began as a printmaker but I like the glass between me and the piece...like a window or space. It's just a personal choice for me. When I used oils without gesso, the oils would bleed through and leave rings.

Kim said...

Thank you Cynthia, I will be over in just a bit!

Have a Lovely Day

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Thank so much for the insight Wise Geek Babs! :) Like you, I always felt acrylic was stable enough in itself, but I also kept hearing about this business. Since those who were talking about this were not saying why, I thought I should try and see what all that was about. I turned up nada, as you can see!

Thanks for the url to the web site. I will have to go over and check it out. We really have to start questioning those old guys more, I am thinking!

Thanks Bab and Have a Lovely Day!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

:) Thanks Rachete, it was just a bity test piece with this gesso thing. I appreciate you kind words about it, though!

Have a Beautiful Day.

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Hi Mary Ann, of course you are right with oils it makes a huge difference. I am kind of an oil free painter (with the exception of some oil sticks now and then) because of my asthma. I should have been more clear about that, too.

Ah ha, so see it is a great deal about the artist's background which makes the difference! I can fiddle with a painting for months and months...working on the tiniest details, then when it is done, I don't want to contend with it any longer. I think that is my framing mind set. The older I get the more concrete I get in my head and with my ideas. LOL

Thanks Mary Ann!

Love,

Kim

sukipoet said...

I saw this candle on Andrea's blog and send my blessings to Yvette.

Re; gessoing paper. I have read those instructions re: doing journal pages and they said it makes the paper archival. I tried gessoing several of my journal pages (made out of Stonhenge printing paper) and it gave them a different texture and possibly protected the paper from getting too wet from the acrylics, I dont know. I havent read the comments you've gotten yet so will go back and do so. Thanks Kim

Kim said...

Hi Suki, so the information you have says it makes something like acid paper, archival? Now that is something I understand.

So when you gesso in a journal, does it make the paper heavier and cracklier to turn the page? I have no idea, I am just asking about it.

Mainly you are thinking it made the paper archival and kept it more intact than if it would have gotten saturated with paint. That is cool!

Thank Suki...

Love,

Kim

soulbrush said...

what a wonderfully sympathetic and caring gesture this is. get well soon yvette. can't advise...you know me, i 'fly by the seat of my pants'!!

Kim said...

Soul, I love it that you fly by the seat of your pants! It is the only way to go in my opinion!

Thanks Soul!

Love,

Kim

sukipoet said...

Kim, the gesso on the paper made the paper feel heavier, yes. Though i only did one coat so it didnt feel crackly. I only tried it on a few pages as i'd read about it and am not sure I would do it on a regular basis except maybe later on in the painting or collage to white out sections. I guess I always thought of gesso (the kind we buy nowadays) as a sort of thinned down titanium white and cheaper to use for large areas than titanium. I use gesso mostly when i stretch my own canvases and need it as a ground.

Lynette said...

I haven't tried the gesso on paper yet Kim but I'm really liking the painting you did... it flows so nicely and has good depth, really nice! I'm so sorry about your friend Yvette

Kim said...

Thank you, Suki!

Okay, so one layer on the paper. I can see where that might not be crinkly.

I suppose since I have never been a gesso user, I have felt confused about it's use. I know Elis calls herself the gesso queen and says she has a gesso day every once in a while to go over things she is not interested in keeping.

When I worked with it, I found it rather difficult to spread. I am thinking I am not doing something right with it...maybe I need to explore more.

Thanks so much for all of your help here. You have given me new things to think about.

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Thanks Lynette! I appreciate that. It really is just a test piece because I had no idea what I was getting into with this one! LOL

We are all wishing good things for Yvette!

Love,

Kim

Paula said...

Hi Kim ~

Lovely ~ the candle. Get better soon Yvette.

Regarding gesso. I have gesso. For paintings I usually use it only to block out an area where I'm wanting to paint over other layers. Otherwise I use it on fabric dolls as it gives the fabric a nicer surface for the paint to adhere to.

Elis Cooke said...

Hi Kim
I use gesso on paper fairly often-- especially for thinner journal pages-- to make them sturdier and less absorbent... it gives you more time to play with the paint and move it around... it is also easier to lift back to light than pure paper which will absorb the colours and stain deeper. that is what I have found anyway. I also use it often as a print resist as well-- [applying it to textured print plates with a brayer or to stamps with a sponge]so once it dries and you paint over it with fluid paint-- it will be lighter. There is a tutorial somewhere in my 2005-6 archives-- but that is the gist of it lol!

This painting has great colours!! sometimes the most magical things things happen when we are just using up paint and playing! the striations of colour are lovely and the composition has a nice energy-- makes me think of prismatic icicles lol! but then i'm stuck in a winter wasteland surrounded with ice these days lol! namaste Elis.

Dianne said...

Dear Kim,
Hope your friend Yvette gets better soon, the candle is beautiful.
This painting reminds me of a waterfall - I prefer not to use gesso on paper unless you want the bit of texture it supplies.
If you find a painting on paper is very wobbly and buckled, try wetting the back of the painting and lying it flat on a table,(on a clean piece of paper) place a board on top and weight it down with some books. Leave overnight to dry and it will be quite flat and easy to frame.
Keep warm, Kim!

Kim said...

Hey Paula,

Okay, so you use it to block out and to create a better painting surface on other fabric...and maybe on other surfaces, too. I can see a good use of gesso here. I like this idea.

Thanks so much!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

The Gesso Queen is Here! Hi Elis! I must have sent a message to the universe for you to head on over! LOL

So on paper it opens the time for working. Ah ha, so that is probably the reason to gesso paper in the first place. Now that is cool. So if you don't want it to absorb and dry quickly...gesso, it! Good advice.

I do like this idea of using it as a resist, too, to create different textures and have a good painting surface for later...ohh, how smart is that?

Yes, you like my little experiment? I thank you. It does make me smile as it was so unintentional to be anything at all...you just never know what the old muse is going to come up with, right?

You stay warm up there, girl!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Dianne, I love this tip for flattening warped paper. What a great idea to be sure! Sometimes it can become an issue with paper painting. If you did this with watercolor wouldn't it move the paint around, though? You are just saying with acrylics, right?

A waterfall? Whatever it is, it seems to be reminding people of something watery...in the liquid or solid state :)

Thanks Dianne!

Love,

Kim

4roomsandthemoon said...

I discovered using gesso on paper a few years back - I like how it makes the paper stronger, and moisture resistant so you can use watercolors without buckling. I even gesso cardboard sometimes when I don't have a nice canvas. I've found that you need to gesso both sides and then the paper will stay flat and not curl or warp. I use gesso on paper journal pages too - it gives the paper a sort of softness that is very appealing to work on.

marianne said...

I can´t help you with this question, but I do like the painting Kim! Wonderful colors!
I have put the candle on my blog as well.
hug >M<

Kim said...

I am very into making something more appealing to work on... So basically you are saying the gesso helps the paper to not buckle when using wet media. I get that appeal to be sure.

I really appreciate your insight here. We all learn a lot from each other. Thank you so much!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Thank you, Marianne. I am glad you like the painting.

Have you heard from Yvette? Do you know how she is getting along?

Thanks Marianne!

Love,

Kim