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Re: Oil Color Marbling

On Sun, 1 Sep 1996, Mark & Lois Mittleman wrote:

> I have just started oil color marbling and am having some wonderful results.
> Since I have a degree in music and not art, I did not know that the oil
> paint and the thinner will eventually destroy the paper that has been marbled.
> I would like to sell these "marbleings" in galleries and at art shows, but
> feel that either I should be able to  treat the paper with something that
> will make it last longer, or add a disclaimer to the work.
> Has anyone solved this problem?
> How long will the artwork last, if I use 100% cotton rag paper?
> Thanks for your help!
> Lois Ann
Dear Lois Ann

Some of the technical considerations of oil painting do apply to marbled
paper, but not all.  Things such as not mixing viridian green with any
cadmium color (it will turn black) apply, but even though it is not
considered permanent to oil paint on unprimed paper, oil based inks
have been used for centuries for printing and printmaking. Oil based
paints are not recommended for painting on paper because the ammount of oil
present will rot the rag or non-rag paper.  Alum treated papers used with
water based marble colors also have technical problems concerning
permanence, but many samples of very old marbled book papers etc. survive
centuries anyway. Example: Many painters like Alizarin Crimson but even the
synthetic (sp?) replacement for the madder root dyestuff introduced in
19th century fades or turns black over time, but not in every painting.
Real vermillon is fugitive as well but the conservators see many old
painting that haven't turned black (yet) so artists still use it if they
can get it.  Many techniques seem to break the rules (and often do) but
the quality of the materials and their individual combinations have a lot
to do the longevity of the artwork, as does exposure to light. Follow well
recommended recipes from good sources, use quality colors (like Winsor &
Newton) and good rag paper.  Treat your finished projects like watercolor
paintings (protect them from light etc.) and ask other marblers what they

Personally, I grind my own pigments in distilled water.  It is cheaper
and gives one total control and its' more fun!

Hope some of this helps.


     M I C H A E L   M O R I N                M.F.A., M.L.S.

Director Celtic Press               Instructional Media Librarian
  Buffalo  New York                  D'Youville College Library
         Co-Moderator Buffalo Free-Net Preservation SIG
    Member Buffalo Free-Net Information Development Committee

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