Bringing Art Making Into Your Life
I prime paper to make a cheap painting surface. When you are learning to paint or draw its just not worth using a canvas for every experiment and techniques you’ll learn. Both cost wise and space wise.
I buy the ends of 1 metre high paper rolls that probably start out with 1000 metres of paper, and get sent off to be recycled before they are quite finished, usually with about 30 metres left on them. [I get them from a big recycling [upcycling?] centre in Sydney called Reverse Garbage- http://reversegarbage.org.au/ . It’s worth looking to see if there is anything similar in your area or your nearest city because they have mad supplies. Things you wouldn’t dream up.]
I have the paper mounted on a dowel so I can cut lengths off easily. I cut about 20 pieces at a time, then clamp them all to my easel together, then paint them one at a time with any cheap paint like old house paint. I don’t use expensive primer for this because this is for the experimental phase. After I prime each piece I hang it up to dry in the shed. I often do 2 coats to make the painting surface a bit sturdier.
Above: The roll of paper mounted on the wall for easy cutting. If I was smart I would mark a line to cut the same length each time.
Above: I use a cheap little roller to apply the paint.
Above: primed canvases drying in the shed.
Store them flat if you can. If you roll them up you will be driven mad by edges trying to curl in. You don’t have to prime in white or cream either: it can be good to start with a dark colour or even a bright colour. It might take your work to an interesting place.