Thursday, September 14, 2006
I’m running low on art materials. It’s time to restock. I’m a total paper, paint and brush fetishist. I love the delicate smells of watercolour and fine papers. I love the acid smell of enamel – even if it makes my nose bleed, deadens my tastebuds and leaves tiny but still noticeable white blotches on my skin. I love the way enamel glides on and disperses, smoothing out any traces of my brush. The smell of raw canvas reminds me of the first paintings I made, when I stretched and primed them myself in Queensland’s tropical heat.I am in love with the colour and texture of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour on Fabriano Uno 180gsm cold pressed paper. I tried over 20 different kinds before I found this one. I’m pretty sure it’s no longer being made. In any case, I bought every piece I could find in Sydney, and searched the rest of Australia (and overseas, using the internet) too. For opaque coverage and block colour on small works, I use Matisse Derivan Acrylic paint. My favourite paper when using thicker layers of acrylic is 100% Cotton Museum Board. It doesn’t buckle and has a fine, soft texture. It also comes in an almost photo white. I like to be able to leave some paper bare.I've always loved lead pencils in HB, 2B, 4B, 6B. I don’t care what brand they are as long as the lead’s not broken inside. I love ZIG Memory System Writer pens. They’re pigment ink, acid-free, archival quality, light-fast, waterproof, fade-proof and non-bleeding. Each pen has two tips, 0.5mm and 1.2mm. I bought about 20 of them, a few years ago, from one of my all-time favourite art supplies shops Neil’s Art Store, in Fitzroy, Melbourne. When I was in my teens, some friends who did graffiti turned me onto Posca paint pens. I don’t use them a lot in my artwork because they’re a bit thick, and I’m not sure about their archival quality. I still use them for labelling, though, ‘cause they mark just about any surface, and part of me likes them for nostalgic reasons. For writing, I only use black Uni-ball Eye in Micro. I like the flow of the ink and the silver/grey/black of the pen itself. I bought some Winsor & Newton visual diaries, but I don’t love them like I do everything else. The paper feels strange on my fingertips, it’s so smooth it’s almost abrasive, if that makes sense. I try not to think about it when I use it because I haven’t found anything better yet. I don’t have a favourite brand of small brush, but I like cheap soft synthetics in a range of sizes - square tips for acrylic, and calligraphy shape for watercolour. For larger works, especially enamel, I only use Purdy brushes.