Mark Golden on Paint

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Grounds reinventing the finished piece

29 January, 2007 (11:59) | Paint Ideas

We have received quite a few requests concerning the preparation of traditional and non-traditional grounds for many of our clients. The correct ground whether it is exposed or completely covered in dozens of layers, plays a critical role in the final outcome of a work. Our work in developing new surfaces for artists to work on have been in response to your needs for changing color, absorbency, tooth, hardness and even opacity, as well as substrate or medium specific needs like; how to cover Masonite® to avoid discoloring, or grounds suitable for working underneath pastel or oil. Much of our discovery has actually been your discovery that materials, traditionally not considered as appropriate for grounds, can make great starting points. This included for me the entire range of gels from gloss to matte.

Once again we are bringing out some new experimental grounds that we’ll be previewing at the College Arts Association meeting, starting Feb. 14th, that we hope will add significantly to the choices you have available for your work. We have been asked by many pastel artists to provide a wider range of surface profiles that allow for finer or looser application of pastel. Our current Pastel Ground has found many uses in pastel and pencil as well as in other media where artists just want a toothy beginning point to grab the color. The new products “Translucent Ground (fine) and Translucent Ground (coarse)”, will provide additional options including the option of allowing earlier layers, or paper or canvas surfaces to show through. Again, an interesting surface for drawing tools, but also a very interesting starting point for stains and washes. These products as well as all of the Experimental products are featured in our “Just Paint” #16 which should be on the web by the end of this week.




Comment from Matt Ramada
Time: January 29, 2007, 7:23 pm

I have been fascinated for a while (ever since reading a blurb on how Barnett Newman made his piece “Onement”) with the application and attributes of grounds. In fact I find the physical construction and preparation for a painting to be as beautiful a process (and often more enjoyable) than the painting itself. I’m really looking forward to this next issue of “Just Paint”, you’re really giving it a lot of hype and it’s all about stuff I’m really interested in (I even bought pastels once just because I wanted to see how your ground for pastels worked.)

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: January 31, 2007, 9:29 am

Matt, take a look at JP14 and JP12 for more of the Experimental Products. I think you’ll see that there is a wide range of very unique materials to play with and they’re avaible right now. No hype… no waiting… just very interesting materials. JP 16 should be out via the web by the end of the week. Regards, Mark

Comment from Matt Ramada
Time: February 1, 2007, 7:06 pm

I just looked through the GAC section of JP12 and stumbled on something interesting. I had been interested in GAC 200 for creating enamel like effects and one of the things the article mentioned was how it causes the paint to be more adhesive to non-porous surfaces. This brought up an experiment I had been working on recently, where I had been painting on a glass palette with the intention of peeling the entire painting off of the palette have a painting made of, litterally, just paint. So I was wondering, if you have a medium that can increase adherence to a non-porous surface, is there anything in your line that, though it may not be the intended purpose, would be less likely to adhere to a non-porous surface (I was thinking maybe one of the fabric mediums might, though I have no educated guess on this)?

Comment from Mark D. Gottsegen
Time: February 3, 2007, 4:48 pm

And, if you will be at the CAA meeting in NYC (NY Hilton Hotel) there will be a panel discussion about grounds (“Finding Common Ground”) on Friday, February 16, at 5:30. Six manufacturers will be represented, and some guy named Mark Gottsegen will be the moderator-with-a-whip.

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: February 4, 2007, 11:15 am

Matt, the GAC 200 is probably the best. The adhesion is improved mostly because the hardness is increased. Instead of easily flexing a corner and pulling it up, it tends to break. But if you’ve been following our information, recently, we just had to reformulate the GAC 200 to increase its hardness. It seems overtime it’s gotten soft on us… kind of like my gut… Regards, Mark

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: February 4, 2007, 11:18 am

Mark thanks so much for the reminder. I hope anyone who will be at the CAA meeting this Feb. will visit us at the Book Fair, and make sure you attend the sessions on grounds. It is the first time that CAA has reached out to manufacturers to contribute not just dollars, or a show, but to actually present valuable information for members. It think it will be a great start! Mark

Comment from Nina Deckert
Time: February 12, 2007, 5:34 pm

Hi Matt,
Try Clear Tar Gel or Self-Leveling Gel either alone or added to paint to create a “skin” that is more easily peeled from a glass palette or polyethylene sheet. To keep your “just paint” painting easy to peel limit the use of Matte products and make sure to blend Inorganic colors like Umbers and Ochres with gel. If you want your whole, liberated painting matte just apply Matte Medium or a Satin or Matte Varnish on top at the very end.

Comment from Matt Ramada
Time: February 13, 2007, 4:24 pm

Thank you soooo much Nina, this is exactly the information I was looking for. I now have an excuse to buy one or both of those mediums (which I don’t own yet) to play around with. What I’ll probably do is lay down a “ground” first (I’ll probably use clear tar gel, because I want it as transparent as possible) then paint on that. Thank you for this information.

Comment from Cheryl McClure
Time: February 14, 2007, 4:59 pm

Mentioning grounds…..or maybe I should say mediums. I may end up having to strip a large canvas (48 x 48″) from its stretchers due to a slight warping of the stretcher. I’m considering using a braced 1/4″ plywood and gluing it down. What GAC medium would be best for this? This is a large area and I can’t have it drying out before I get it brayered down but I also want to protect the canvas from the wood AND get good adhesion of the canvas.
Any suggestions?

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: February 18, 2007, 8:46 pm

Matt please be careful with the Matte Medium on the surface… use is sparingly. It will dramatically reduce the clarity of the finished piece if too thick, and is more amber than other mediums. Otherwise Nina’s advice sounds great to me! Mark

Comment from Mark Golden
Time: February 18, 2007, 8:49 pm

Cheryl, give a call to our Tech Support. I think your issues may be more complex than can be simply fixed by a 1/4″ ply. But for an adhesive for the canvas, our Soft Gel is wonderful. When adhering make sure both pieces are first coated with the material and allowed to dry before applying the coat to tie these materials together.
Give a buzz at 800 959 6543. Mark

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