Saturday, April 12, 2008
so, over the past year or so an unstoppable reality has been closing down on me. i am about to run out of my supply of luma and i am not quite sure what i am going to do about it.
luma concentrated watercolor has been my primary medium over the past four or five years. i found it during the days of 'little pea' and my search for the ultimate pea green and found that it was the perfect answer to all of my art making needs...concentrated enough to work as an ink, stable enough to be watered down and used as everyday watercolors. it also performed really well on rives bfk...that bitch of a printing paper i love to torture myself with by drawing on it.
about three years ago i found out that daler rowney who produced luma was discontinuing the line. panic set in and my hoarding began. first i cleared out the risd store...students drool, alumni rule...then the local art supply stores and finally i scoured the web. i even managed to eke out the last two bottles of coffee brown from an art supply store in portland, oregon. these were desperate times...but i was thinking ahead and my stash allowed me to live in a state of denial for awhile.
but here i am, years later and i am hesitant to count how many bottles i have left. i am too afraid to look.
over the past year i have been keeping my eye out for a suitable replacement. over the past few months my active concern has transformed into full fledged 'okay, what the hell are we going to do?' it seems as if concentrated watercolors are a dying breed. there are only two companies that produce them anymore: dr. ph martin and pebeo.
dr. ph martin's radient concentrated watercolors are an automatic no go. the colors are too concentrated...saying 'too concentrated' reminds me of a time when my brother and i cooked ourselves a vegetarian dinner at my sister's house for christmas and it was proclaimed 'too flavorful' by my brother in law.
so, yes, they are too concentrated and by that i mean when i have watered them down they are somewhat unstable when they dry...they get all uneven and weird. how's that for a savvy description? they are also too bright for my needs...painfully bright. i have seen other artists use them in their work and they are awesome at it. i end up feeling overwhelmed.
what truly seals the doctor's fate is that the radiant series aren't lightfast. their primary use is for reproduction work. which kills me. what's the point? lemon juice on paper is more permanent. my only hope with the doctor is a second series called synchromatic. it is primarily used for photos and film. i am crossing my fingers.
as for pebeo i can't find anyone who sells the colorex inks in the united states. the lie that is pearl art supply (seriously, we are on the outs. i am about to write them a break up letter) says they carry them but whenever i order them they are out of stock. i have come to realize that 'out of stock' for pearl paints means 'no longer carrying' since the last time i looked the list of 60+ colors has dwindled down to one lonely bottle of purple. i contacted pebeo via a british art supplier who is now referring me to their german supplier since they don't ship to the u.s. it's pretty ridiculously complicated. for some reason, however, i have a gut feeling that pebeo is going to be the answer to my problems...so in the end it might all be worth it.
until then i have all sorts of varieties of inks slowly making their way across the country to me. i spend a lot of my time in art supply stores staring at the ink section and pulling at my bottom lip, deep in concentration, trying to figure it all out.