Re: Problem pigment

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 06/08/05-01:53:40 PM Z
Message-id: <>

I wrote...

>> And a question -- I haven't been carefully following discussion of
>> lightfastness... tending to rely on manufacturers ratings (most do provide
>> that). I realize those can be overoptimistic, but I stick with the best
>> rated, thereby saving time, energy & brain cells for emergencies.. I'm
>> wondering though if those who've devoted more attention will cite the
>> benefits -- and/or tell me what I'm missing?

  On Fri, 3 Jun 2005, Katharine Thayer wrote:

> Well, depends on what the question is. If the question is why care
> whether your paints are fugitive or not, that's a question each person
> has to answer for hermself. If the question is, why not just rely on
> manufacturer's ratings rather than seeking out independent data, I
> think that again is an individual decision. So if you don't care about
> permanence, or if you are willing to take a manufacturer's word for
> permanence, then you're probably not missing anything. And if you look
> at the ratings and pick only the absolute highest rated pigments, then
> you're probably not missing much either.

Ahem -- I come from art school & 18 years as a painter...& have rarely
bought paint with less than highest rating -- since they've published
ratings, that is,... but, having (oh damn) a limited supply of brain
cells, also of time, & my work seeming to grow needier, not easier, I
figured that sufficed. Then all this fine slicing made me wonder, am I
missing some new, Internet/Important point? Which I gather, NOT.

And a somewhat different point about nuances of paint colors, tho I
daresay I invite a put-down here as well. My experience is that color
effects in a gum print are preferably (for my way of working) achieved by
layering -- added coats, variables of mix, order of application,
development, and so forth, than by choice of a special color beyond my
standard palette... In fact I've found, if the "different" color isn't
last, or one-coat,it's not going to look very different, or not enough to
justify keeping track -- and storing -- many more colors. My studio is
already so crowded with piles and tables and stacks & boxes, that when
phone rings it takes so long to wend my way through, folks ask, "did I
wake you up?"

Of course real estate outside NYC city limits may be less problematic, but
still... I can only think of so many variables at one time -- not to
entirely deny new colors (DS Perylenes turned out to be friends), but I've
found few worth the effort and time, especially since I seem to be still
plumbing possibilities in hand.


> The people I'm worried about are those who for instance look at Winsor &
> Newton's "moderately durable" rating, which is the lowest possible
> rating a fugitive pigment can get in their rating system, and think
> that means that somehow the pigment made by W&N is more durable (less
> fugitive) than the same pigment made by Daniel Smith or Graham and rated
> more honestly by those manufacturers as IV (fugitive). All it really
> means (the different ratings) is that Winsor & Newton have just made
> their pigments look more "durable" by dropping the "fugitive" rating and
> forcing fugitive pigments into more permanent-sounding categories. It's
> like grade inflation-- just because no one's getting a D any more
> doesn't mean that no one is doing D work.
> On the 3rd hand, I think photographers
>> worry about this more than painters do...
> If this were true, then it would be photographers doing all the pigment
> testing and manning the pigment data websites and writing the books
> about pigments. But since Hilary Page and Bruce MacEvoy are painters,
> and their multitudinous readers and viewers and buyers are probably 99%
> painters, this statement seems disingenuous at best. Obviously painters
> care more about this than you give them credit for. And if it were only
> the occasional photographer buying paint who cared about the ratings,
> why would the manufacturers always have the lightfast ratings on the
> tubes and in the catalog listings? It seems pretty clear that painters
> do care about this.
> So they'll only last 100 years.
>> If the world lasts 100 years, that is.
> For some of these pigments it's more like the difference between 5 years
> and 100 years; I'd much prefer to use the paint that will last 100 years
> and not the paint that will last 5 years (or 5 weeks, like the Rhodamine
> B (BV 10) we were discussing yesterday). But, each to his own; I'm just
> trying to ensure that when people choose pigments, they are making a
> truly informed choice. Cheers,
> Katharine
Received on Wed Jun 8 13:53:54 2005

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