Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36819] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question ("Mike Lyon")
  2. [Baren 36820] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question (Charles Morgan)
  3. [Baren 36821] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question (David Harrison)
  4. [Baren 36823] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question ("Maria Arango")
  5. [Baren 36824] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question ("Mike Lyon")
  6. [Baren 36822] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4520 (Sep 10, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  7. [Baren 36825] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question (David Harrison)
  8. [Baren 36826] Re:Lauan mahogany as substrate (Scholes Graham)
  9. [Baren 36827] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4519 (Sep 9, 2008) (Lee Churchill)
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Message 1
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:07:01 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36819] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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Unprepared canvas or linen painted with oils will rot over time. Canvas and
linen are normally sized with glue to make the fabric less absorbent, then
gessoed -- the size prevents rotting of the canvas by the linseed oil in the
paints. Papers to be painted can also be sized and gessoed. I believe that
printmaking inks contain substantially less oil than paints and are
generally very thin films compared to painted ones.

For whatever it's worth, some of my monotypes of 15 or more years ago, done
with oil paints or with stand oil added to etching or litho ink show signs
of oil leeching and rot.

Mike

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
http://mlyon.com/blog
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Message 2
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:41:28 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36820] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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What about the etchings of Durer and Rembrant? I have seen originals of both. I did not inquire about degradation directly, but no one mentioned any problem due to the hardening of the oils.

I think of the term "rot" as indicating bacterial degradation. Is that really what you mean, or is there some other process involved?

Linseed oil does not seem to lead to "rot" in wood ... rather the opposite. Why would linseed oil on paper, with a bit of pigment, be any different?

Cheers ...... Charles
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Message 3
From: David Harrison
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:05:12 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36821] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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Charles Morgan wrote:
> What about the etchings of Durer and Rembrant? I have seen originals of
> both. I did not inquire about degradation directly, but no one mentioned
> any problem due to the hardening of the oils.
>
> I think of the term "rot" as indicating bacterial degradation. Is that
> really what you mean, or is there some other process involved?
>
> Linseed oil does not seem to lead to "rot" in wood ... rather the opposite.
> Why would linseed oil on paper, with a bit of pigment, be any different?
>
> Cheers ...... Charles

I'd be surprised if linseed oil actively rotted wood unless there were
impurities in the oil. For example, there are some very old cricket bats, the
willow-wood of which is traditionally treated with linseed oil.

However a quick Google search for 'linseed oil' and 'rot' suggested that
linseed-oil-treated surfaces can be prone to mold and mildew. Another site
mentioned UV as a degrading factor, but that applies to many materials. Also
found somewhere that biodegradability depends on whether (and how well) the
oil has been 'boiled' by heat-treatment or chemical additives. Apparently raw
linseed oil doesn't ever polymerize fully, which leaves it more vulnerable to
bacterial and fungal attack.

Cheers,

David H
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Message 4
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:08:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36823] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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I own a set of Goya etchings, restrikes from his Tauromachia series printed
in or around 1920. The paper is yellowing a bit although I keep the
collection in the dark. The ink is fine and no oil leaching is present
anywhere. Maybe this is because etching ink is stiff (i.e. less oil
content).

Oil paint does indeed have MUCH more oil in it than printmaking ink, as does
monotype ink or any ink to which additional oil is added. The oil has to go
somewhere and the most obvious place is the support, being a nice absorbent
paper "sponge."
I was taught to keep mixing any additives with printmaking ink to a minimum,
never exceeding 5% of the ink volume for this reason. My preference has
always been to use ink right out of the can. Being in a very dry climate
helps as I rarely have to add driers and my prints dry in a matter of a
couple of days at most.

Of course everything will deteriorate with time but avoiding excessive
additives in printmaking ink will increase the longevity of works on paper,
at least to the end of our lifetime and very possibly quite beyond. Paper
choice is equally important; specifically acid-free good quality papers are
very important. I'm assuming my hand-made paper works will last a wee bit
less than the works printed on sized paper and those less printed on
internally sized paper.

With all the crap that's out there being called a "giclee-print" and printed
on home-grade ink-jet with office-store dye-inks on so-called "photo-paper",
I think most printmakers I know have little to worry about the longevity of
our works.

Maria

†O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O
†††††† Maria Arango
http://1000woodcuts.com
http://artfestivalguide.info
†O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O
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Message 5
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:09:37 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36824] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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My use of the word "rot" to describe falling-apart canvas or paper from
contact with oil colors. My 'bible' since art school has been "The
Artists's Handbook of Materials and Techniques" by Ralph Mayer - index lists
"Rotting of canvas, 290, 292, 298, 317, 440" in Fifth Edition. Here's a
description from page 290 about preparing canvas for oil painting:



"Size is considered an absolute necessity; oil paint should never come into
direct contact with the fiber or the canvas will "rot," that is, eventually
become weak, brittle, and crumbly. This has been known to artists for
hundreds of years, and some of the earliest examples of oil paint on canvas
are found to be thoroughly sized with aqueous glue."



Artists oil colors generally SEEM oilier to me than printing inks (which, I
think, are ground in a thickened oil). My ideas -- about 'why' my some of
my prints on paper made with artists oil colors (oil paint) are rotting 15
years later and those made with printers inks (and without added stand oil)
are not -- are unscientific - but I DO believe that it has to do with the
amount (and perhaps the type) of oil in the pigments. I mean, you KNOW that
if you add 'too much' oil to your inks, you'll see an oily halo in a day or
two, right? Well, leave that paper for a decade or three and when you pick
it up, you'll find it has CHANGED in the oily areas which have started to
fall apart - what I called 'rot'.



But I'm no expert - maybe one of our conservators or ink specialists can
shed some light on the subject? Clearly printing inks don't make the paper
fall apart. Least, like you, I don't THINK they do?



Mike



Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
http://mlyon.com

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Message 6
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:10:57 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36822] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4520 (Sep 10, 2008)
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My degree is in oil painting. We were taught to gesso our surfaces.
I have oils that are well over 20 years old and there is no sign of
deteroriation. They are on canvas, that was gessoed. Some pigments
will change color over time. Also one has to be careful with the
additives one uses, I used linseed oil and turp. There are other good
ones. I have one piece on a metal surface, that was gessoed and that I
believe is flaking a bit, so surface is important. The tried and true
carefully stretched and gessoed surface with a good quality oil paint
and a decent additive should last a very long time. Also, come to
think of it, one can gesso panels and that has been done by many old
time artists whose work is still with us, I believe the Dutch artist
Van Dyke did that. The better your pigments the better your product.
Watercolors will fade when exposed to a lot of light. They can be
placed under a glass surface that helps prevent the fading. I presume
hanga pigments that are water based will also fade. If I am correct
that is one of the reason they are stored in a folder or box away from
light and taken out for viewing. In our present world we often do
frame them and if you are concerned about longevity I would suggest
using all archival framing and thinking about using a glass that helps
with the fading light can cause.

I like to experiment at times and most certainly some of that will not
last over time. However, when I frame a piece I do use quality
materials. I am beginning to think that I need to use better papers
more often. So, I guess I do both, I grab interesting surfaces
knowing they are not archival and that I use good pigments and quality
paper. There are times wen I just want to create something unique on
an interesting surface. But, if it a commission piece most certainly
I would use archival materials.

I learned something on our little trip. We stopped in a gallery and I
found a fish print on canvas that i fell in love with. I asked the
gallery owner what the medium was, acrylic or oil. She said it was
acrylic and I said i want to buy this, take it down for me. When she
took it off the wall it was too perfect on the sides and my husband
said is this a print??? She said oh yes it is a print of the
original. When i asked her what the medium was I would have thought
she would have said that is a print. Of course at that point i said
sorry, I do not want this. The point is, even as artists we need to
look closely at what we are purchasing. Gallery owners are not
educated in the arts, they are sales people.

Marilynn
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Message 7
From: David Harrison
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:28:48 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36825] Re: Oil-based inks and paper - technical question
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Mike Lyon wrote:
> But I'm no expert - maybe one of our conservators or ink specialists can
> shed some light on the subject? Clearly printing inks don't make the paper
> fall apart. Least, like you, I don't THINK they do?

Your quote about 'size' protecting canvas might hold true here -- what if the
sizing on the paper is sufficient to protect the paper fibres from a thin film
of oil, but not a girt great splodge of oil paint?
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Message 8
From: Scholes Graham
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:37:56 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36826] Re:Lauan mahogany as substrate
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Maria Arango wrote:
> With all the crap that's out there being called a "giclee-print" and
> printed
> on home-grade ink-jet with office-store dye-inks on so-called "photo-
> paper",
> I think most printmakers I know have little to worry about the
> longevity of
> our works.

Well put Maria....
I am hearing more and more that this push button printing stuff is being
set where it belongs in the pecking order of printmaking by hands on
printmakers... Not worthy is becoming the buzz word.

Mike and David.... thanks for the information.
I have never being interested in oil paints of canvas.... all my work
is and
has been done on wood panels..... Usually lauan mahogany 5mm ....
known as
door skin. I have never been able to find out any information about
the archival quality of this substrate.

I know that many famous artists used this material for their field
sketches and
major works....

What do you know about this subject.

Thanks,
Graham
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Message 9
From: Lee Churchill
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 16:20:30 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36827] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4519 (Sep 9, 2008)
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Hi Aime,
There is some mild debate over whether drying oils cause degradation in paper
(Kosek, Joanna; Green, Lorna R. "A survey of oil paintings and sketches
on paper in the collection in the British Museum: an assessment of stability"
The Institute of Paper Conservation: conference papers Manchester 1992)
but the general consensus is that it does. This is based on observation (when
you see oiled papers they always seem more brittle and fragile than other
papers of the same period) rather than experimentation and testing so there
may be other factors involved in the degradation that just happen to coincide
with presence of oils...Occam's razor is not always the rule. The research
into foxing has proven that...

The drying oil degradation is usually considered an issue of quantity - the
'best' (in a technical sense) oil based inks only hold the minimum of oil
needed to make the pigments hold to the paper (and this amount depends on
whether the ink is for relief, intaglio, or...whatever process) intaglio inks
nks usually contain more oil because the pigments need to get carried into
the grooves of the plates, while relief needs to not run very much at all.
(Which is why using an ink designed for a specific process can be easier than
an trying to find an ink that 'does everything'.) The small amount of oil
seeps into the paper and hardens, holding the pigment in place (along with
the  mechanical action of the fibres) but, in traditional techniques at least
ast, there is lots of good strong paper fibres around the oil to keep everything
thing from falling apart - that and the fact that older papers are usually
so much higher quality, cotton and linen hold up to oil way better than wood
pulp.
You start getting into trouble when artists begin experimenting. Any combination
of factors (overly oily inks, poor papers, overly thin papers, poor sizing)
can lead to hastening degradation - usually first seen by yellowing
or transparency either on the backs of the prints in the darkest areas or by
getting haloing, eventually this will yellow then turn brown as the oils
crosslink (unless something is done to counteract it...) Frankly it's not a
surprise that so little art actually makes it down through the generations!
Environmental factors (heat - humidity - light)will exacerbate degradation
but as Charles mentioned most prints are kept flat so even if there were
some inflexibility caused by the oil hardening it wouldn't be as damaging
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