Some people still question whether digital work should appear in art exhibitions. As a gallery owner, it’s been a question I’ve had to address.
At first I was resistant. But then, as I mulled art from a historical perspective and questioned my own prejudices, I found myself accepting the new medium.
At one time, even the impressionists we now admire were scoffed at. Paintings during their lives were ranked by subject matter and technique. The most accomplished artists painted historical works. Less accomplished painters made portraits. Those painting landscapes or still lifes were looked down upon, since imitations of nature could never be considered original. An artist who didn’t blend his brush strokes–to the point of being indiscernible–was simply sloppy.
European artists used egg tempera, and then oil paint. But prior to 1800, only 15 oil colors were available. Only when new technologies were introduced were additional colors created. Is it now “cheating” to use the new pigments?
And art is a reflection of the culture it’s born into. The art of some ancient cultures is found etched onto stone or painted onto vessels. Another society created idols; another still illuminated pages. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and we have a highly mobile society with artists creating and transporting images digitally. A to-be-expected evolution.
I tested both of these papers today. The Arches Velin Museum Rag is too stiff. It will not fold around the roller in my printer, and jams the device every time.
However, I’ll be using the Rag Photographique in the future. The colors closely resemble those of my proofs, which are run on HP Premium Plus Photo Paper. The primary color difference lies in the the blacks. On the HP paper, the blacks are crisp; deep. On the Rag Photographique, they have the sultry richness found in an etching. It should be noted that, on the latter, the blacks don’t reach their full intensity until the print has thoroughly dried.
Legion was good to its word and sent me replacement Somerset Enhanced Velvet. However, I’m still experiencing a pronounced color shift.
Two or three drops added to a dime-sized blob of paint keeps my colors workable for one to two hours. Since thinner films dry faster, it helps to keep the paint mounded (rather than smeared) on the palette.
A little Slow-Dri goes a long way. Excessive amounts cause the paint surface to become permanently tacky.
Another way to slow drying is to add any of the various gels available. However, many require a half-day or more to set, and some become cloudy if disturbed while half-dry.