This painting was created with Dr. PH. Martin’s radiant watercolors with Prismacolors on illustration board. It’s the epitome of anti-archival painting because the watercolors are very light sensitive, and Prismacolors can get icky over time. The radiant watercolors are also next to impossible to scan accurately, which makes them a poor choice for reproduction.
“So,” you might logically ask, “why do it in the first place?” Good question! Because the colors of the Dr. Martin’s is so vibrant and beautiful, they are joyful colors to paint with.
I suppose Pegasus is rescuing Bellerophon from the dragon in the painting, but my connection to Illustration Friday’s word of the week is because I rescued the painting. I had given the painting to my brother because he likes this kind of subject, but between his various moves, the painting ended up in our mother’s garage and started molding in the dampness.
I was horrified by this blatant lack of respect for my artistic gifting. This is especially unforgiveable because my brother is also a painter and should’ve known better, but he is often just as careless with his own work. He also has a very annoying habit of painting over things I really like. I’d rather buy him a new canvas than watch him destroy beautiful things, but let’s get back to the moldy dragon…
I took the painting home and sorrowed over its pitiful state, without really knowing what to do about it. In the end, I took it out of it’s frame and found that much of the mold was on the glass and mat. That was easily solved with Windex and by throwing away the mat, but I was still left with some mold on the actual painting. I knew that mold can spread if you don’t kill it, but I was also pretty sure that anything that would kill the mold would also destroy the painting. I carefully dusted off as much mold as I could, and then dabbed detergent on the remainder. I lucked out because the mold was only on the background, and the background is washy in the first place. The Dr. Martin’s actually dyes the illustration board, so it didn’t lift as easily as watercolors would’ve done. With careful dabbing with water, thorough drying, and reframing, the painting was rescued.
My brother came over and saw the painting hanging in my bedroom. “Hey! Isn’t that my painting?” he asked. “Not any more!” I responded. He must be punished for poor parental care of my work! But on a different level, this painting is a reminder to me of many things, including my affection for my brother. It reminds me that things can be rescued if you dare to try, that even anti-archival paintings can last, and then there’s always the idea of Pegasus rescuing Bellerophon.