Archival Quality Grounds
Archival grounds are art supports that are resistant to deterioration or loss of quality, allowing for a long life expectancy when kept in controlled conditions.
I strive to choose art materials of the durable chemical composition (no lignin or acid free, no bleaching or optical brightening agents, etc.) and make my finished work as resistant to ultraviolet and humidity as possible.
As grounds I primarily use rag papers and canvases made from pure cotton pulp.
I hope that the resulting product would be archival-grade, so your investment in my artwork is as minimum safe from rapid loss of physical qualities, and preserved in the form you received it for your lifetime, provided you care for it.
From the Society of American Archivists:
While no materials meet the ideal definition of 'archival', many archivists use the term informally to refer to media that can preserve information, when properly stored, for more than a century.
My art ground of choice is 100% cotton - canvas and rag papers, hand and mould made from renewable fibers, without use of animal products in the sizing layers. Sometimes I use recycled manufactured or found and repurposed archival (pH neutral) papers, textiles, and textural materials like sand or marble dust, and ground them with acrylic mediums.
My Art Supports
Cotton Rag Paper
For aquarelle on cotton rug (heavier watercolor papers), I choose mould made whit 100% cotton, without optical bleaching, chlorine and acid free - guaranteeing long conservation and inalterability. I prefer rough unpressed surface and a special formula of sizing, Italian Fabriano Artistico being my favorite brand (no animal industry by-products used). 300 gsm (140 lb) is the best paper weight for me - heavy but still flexible.
When I work on canvas, I usually apply foundation grounds myself - a toned gesso based on acrylic polymer, to which I add marble dust and pigments. Sometimes I stain canvas first and seal it with a clear acrylic medium.
I prefer unstreached, heavy cotton, unprimed canvases, and avoid working on anything that includes new wood - for environmental and ethical reasons. If my technique calls for a harder ground, I search for artist grade recycled canvas boards, or mount cotton on sealed found objects.