As an artist…I am guilty of secret hoarding; a universal happening of ‘just-in-case’. So, when I spied the department of one of my colleagues (essentially engaging in criminal behaviour), binning an invaluable product…well, I was aghast! I had caught them in a blasphemous act, disposing piles of newspapers. Newspapers??? Who cares? Right?! Well, these newspapers were gold; printed more than a hundred years ago.
There are all these tutorials for ageing, staining, & distressing paper…and yet, here were papers that wore a hundred years; beautifully bedraggled & perfectly tainted with time.
The edges had crumbled away; they were so fragile, that they crackled in protest, if you so much as looked at them sideways.
Clearly my interest gleamed on my face and so, as humans are want to do…if interest is shown, well, interest is warranted. However, I silver-tongued and wrangled my way into possession of the vast majority.
I cackled like Golem. My precious.
With glee, I skipped home with my newly acquired treasure. So excited…and then, nothing…but, I had them, stored safely; for ‘just-in-case’.
…and today? Is, one of those cases. I spend hours, upon hours; followed by afull day and wait…another one too.
‘Where was I? Oh, yeah…’
…days staining, dyeing, distressing & otherwise completely bastardising; rendering the white canvas completely unrecognisable…all to, create my own version of a blank canvas. Half my life wiled away, just to end up…right at the beginning. FML.
All this, however, wasn’t part of my grand artistic plan; as, I had completely forgotten about my vintage bounty, and it was only by happenstance that I stumbled upon their existence. Again. And, so, I started cutting them up (with my husband protesting loudly, about the sacrilegious nature of my actions…).
Considerations of the paper’s fragility and transient nature needs to be addressed; and, so, each piece needs o be supported and mounted. The mounting process involves glue of some description; with the super absorbent state of the paper, this meant that I needed to be extra careful about my choice, as the chosen glue could impact the end surface of the intended canvas & affect the adhesion of the medium.
Also, the paper’s fragility means that choosing the point size of the pen/pencil becomes a consideration, as the finer a point, the more likely it will cut the paper, all the way through to the backing.
The rich, authentic discolouration of the paper is, well…exquisite. The existing base colour will impact your choice of colour palette; as you can use the existing canvas colour as a representation of skin. So, consideration of paint opacity isn’t necessary; however, you must use thin, lightly coloured washes, building up the colour in layers.
The last consideration is unusual…read through the text of your chosen piece of newsprint, as some of the treatments & tinctures available at the turn of the 20thC are, concerningly curious…