Meeting with Cameron Martin opened my eyes to the different ways one can develop as an artist. Martin began working in a more realistic and observational format. However, his recent body of work takes on an abstracted language, concerned with distorting preconceptions on painting. Initially when researching the artist, I thought his work was produced digitally. I was astonished on how he was able to spray paint on his canvas in order to get a precise and even surface to his canvases. He said that it often takes numerous coats of paint in order to get the painting to be as opaque as he intends for it to be. He gets viewers to consider what he could have applied first, and what came last.
His work definitely had a graphic quality to me, and it makes sense how he was concerned with the influence of advertising. As stated in Martin’s Brooklyn Rail interview, advertising allows for a “non-specific nostalgic experience.” I think that the color choices and illusionistic shapes he produced within his recent body of work comment on advertising still, but in a subtle way.
The Dieu Donne Paper Workshop was a great experience as well. It was interesting to hear about the challenges and advantages of running a non-profit organization and how they work to help artists with their residency program. The Dieu Donne Paper Workshop reminded me of the layout of Pace Prints, and how the workers help the artists to discover new possibilities aside from their usual medium.
Paper is an important tool for artists, and often it seems to be ignored due to what the artist places on top of the paper. Yet, paper is essential and is the foundation for so many works. I did not realize that pigment could be directly incorporated within the paper pulp to make a work. I thought the color process was separate. It was exciting to see how paper did not have to be flat or two-dimensional. For example, we were shown small scale sculptures, such as the ice cream cones made out of paper.
I was particularly intrigued how the Dieu Donne Paper Workshop keeps their paper from falling apart or yellowing. I learned that they use higher quality materials which helps the paper to stay intact. Furthermore, they use archival materials. They coat the paper with calcium carbonate which keeps the paper from turning an undesired tone. Additionally, the water filtration system plays a crucial role in the process. I had the opportunity to visit a paper company in Italy for the ShortTrec program this summer. We visited a paper factory and even got to try to make our own paper. Afterwards I tried to do watercolor with it. The paper was a cool texture, but it did not take the pigments well. The Dieu Donne Paper Workshop seemed to produce different paper that allowed for more functional practice.
I think it is great how the Dieu Donne Paper Workshop allows people of all ages to partake in their programs. This allows for art to be accessible for everyone. The Paper Workshop also reminded me of the Drawing Museum and how something which appears so simple, is so complex and has so many facets which makes it unique.