The Liberation of Experimentation

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March 12, 2015 by smithartonline

Kitsunes with Mirror Mixed Media on Lokta Paper 15 x 18.5 inches

Kitsune with Mirror
Mixed Media on Lokta Paper
15 x 18.5 inches

There is liberation when working experimentally. I have been considering using lokta paper for some time now, especially after seeing work by Julie Buffalohead. My attempts to research the archival characteristics were a bit hit and miss until recently. It appears the paper (coming from Nepal) does exhibit the requirements to be classified as archival. In fact, one source informs me the government documents of Nepal and religious texts are printed on lokta paper due to its survivability.

I began experimenting with various techniques to see the reaction of a lokta paper support with collage and painting techniques. I found the paper relatively forgiving, maintaining integrity with all but a very wet application. Often I soak papers for collage, lokta tends to wrinkle a bit with this technique — not a negative as long as the artist anticipates the paper’s reaction. It is simply part of the process.

Web Digression

Helen Rae will have a solo exhibition of her work at The Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles. The dates are 18 April to 16 May.

I would flatter myself and say I was one of her teachers at First Street Gallery and Art Center, but the truth is she needed very little instruction; only needing materials given to her. Helen was always totally absorbed in her work and followed her own path. Obviously the path she created for herself was the right one.

If you have the opportunity to visit Helen’s work at Good Luck, do so. I can assure you a rewarding experience.


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