Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Love With Paper: Clairefontaine Artist Paper That Is!

Clairefontaine watercolor paper with pen,
J.Herbin fountain pen inks & colored pens

I am sure that some of you may recall me saying that I have been blessed & am very fortunate to be able to experiment (read "play") with some awesome products thanks to the largesse of Exaclair's Karen Doherty. Being a little short on funds has made this a double blessing for me since without her generosity I would not be having some of the great fun that I have been enjoying lately! Karen's latest 'box' arrived packed with some more wonderful Clairefontaine paper products. What I don't think I have mentioned in the past is that I was a fan of Clairefontaine products long before I made this happy connection with Karen. I always had at least one or two colorful Clairefontaine notebooks on hand - a small graphed paper one for my purse as well as a larger graphed version for home. So I am not simply being gratuitous when I say that I truly do feel that Clairfontaine products are quite superior - as well as more colorful and appealing !

What I had not realized prior to the arrival of this box was that Clairefontaine produces what I now know is a full line of truly select artist sketchbooks, pastel papers, watercolor paper & pads as well as an inspiring line of calligraphy papers. WoW! I have been one happy camper!
Clairefontaine watercolor paper with pen & permanent India Ink

I have received some queries today asking if I had fallen off the face of the earth . Aside from a spate of the rainy,wet & cold weather doldrums as well as some birthday days off for DH that threw me way off schedule (who knew I had one of those?!) I have, in fact, been busy, experimenting with some of these great artist papers. My new 'career' must surely be "Doodles r Me "(or is it i? ). I have been using of J.Herbin inks, paint & pencils on these papers & trying to fit in other, much less enjoyable things, like work & home, has been difficult! This morning I even got up an hour early to be able to doodle some before I left for work. Those who know me also know that this is not at all like me. I do not 'do' morning easily nor generally with a smile on my face!

Watercolor paper with pen and permanent ink and water color paint
A feline is beginning to take shape on water color paper with acrylic paint and pen
"Doodles r me" on a larger sheet of watercolor paper.
Pen & permanent ink & a Sakura Glaze pen.
A second 'go-around' of an earlier design on pastel paper.
Pen & permanent ink, acrylic paint & watercolors.

I love working in a square format - at least with painting I do. Quilts are another matter - and I am not terribly fond of working square in quilts - except perhaps for some artistic, non-bed type pieces.

Look at these amazing watercolor pads from Clairfontaine. They're awesome! 300g cold press paper that is a joy to paint on. My favorite size right now is the small 100X100 mm (roughly 4 inches) pad. I have it with me all the time & have been having endless fun doodling away. It got me through a staff meeting today even (no worries - my boss humors me & knows that keeping my fingers busy during staffing actually helps me focus more!). The other size that has become a favorite is the 200 X 200 mm (roughly 8 inches) & the portrait size is a generous 210 X 297 mm (again, roughly 8 X 11 inches). These pads have a cool see through cover made of a sturdy (non-bending) plastic vinyl kind of material with a nice design on the top. The backing is made of the same material with a super sturdy piece of creamy cardboard underneath it (except for the mini square size). The plastic & cardboard makes balancing these pads on a knee , a tree limb or a deck rail a breeze.

These are the watercolor sketch books described above. These pages are not micro-perforated & would need to be cut away if the work needed to be removed. I have to say that I really have become enthralled with this particular paper. I have used different water color brands over the years but this product does have superior performance - comparable or better than any of the more "well known" mainstream brands. I do still like Arches hot pressed with the molded edges - but with this available now I am not sure that the cost differential would be worth it to me any longer.

Below is the 9.5 X 12 " 60lb Ingres Pastel paper with 25 sheets to the pad. The paper color is a very pale, warm ivory & the surface has a beautiful laid structure. Color goes on smoothly; I experimented with pastels, cray-pas, acrylic paints & pen & inks. A lovely paper choice that is available in assorted colors as well & is available in a wide a range of sizes that includes full 19.5 X 25.5 inch sheets.
Next up is Clairefontaines s-m-o-o-t-h & yummy 60 lb Calligraphic paper. This pad is 9.5 X 12 inches and includes 60 sheets.I had to include a picture of the descriptive notes about the paper - which explains why it is such a special choice for calligraphers. I have some calligraphy books that I have been meaning to practice with & this paper could not have arrived at a more opportune time!

Last, but not least, is a really pretty tablet of lined paper that features super smooth Clairfontaine writing paper. I think that this is a truly happy looking pad! I love the full front & back illustration which looks "Disney-esque" to me. It's a little treasure that would brighten anyone's day - what a cool surprise for a Mother's Day gift this would be ! I am, truly grateful for having the opportunity to try out these products from such a fine company - and as I said - I liked their products before so my praise is not simply because I have been fortunate enough to be able to exercise my unstoppable desire to put more playtime in my life! Thank you Karen - may your generosity return to you many fold!

5 comments: said...

Lucky girl you are, how much fun is that!!

Judy H in NC said...

Love the doodles...No, those aren't doodles they are major pieces of art!

tiedyejudy said...

Awesome work, Marie! I really love your doodles! And how wonderful to have been given all those wonderful supplies!
Have fun...

Stacy said...

I'm in love with your mandala doodles! They so rock! The last pic of the animal lady & birds is fantastic!!! You get the best stuff!!! Thanks for sharing!

Guzzisue said...

got to stop reading now...I'm drooling!!

Casino Bonus