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 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 will be archival-grade, so your investment in my artwork is 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 the 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 the cotton rug (heavier watercolor papers), I choose mould made with 100% cotton, without optical bleaching, chlorine and acid-free, guaranteeing long conservation and inalterability. I prefer rough unpressed surfaces 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, and 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.