“My Native Parchment Series” © Brad Michael Moore 2008 — I did not do a historical study and image search of ancient parchments before I began this series. I tried to remember what I know. This series is idealistic. Many true parchments are filled with cracking, holes, extreme fading and bleed-through. The earlier papers were not white – but gray and yellow an very pulpish. Like any drawing made going on through history, often, the edges were left unworked so to provide some working surface space for testing medium, notes, imperfections and so on. The inside of animal hides were first used… Paper made from wood pulp was well along when the Monastery Monks began to do their color illustrations – boarders were fairly standard – and within their illustrations – especially the color ones, no space was left untouched. These works would have light colored boarders. Many an illustration’s life began bounded in a book – later to be pilfered by criminals, and those who lust for what they cannot create for themselves. These pages got rolled, folded, hidden, sometime in caves, behind stones, under earth for periods, or open to elements in porous enclosed spaces, available to insects, rodents, and finally age. One of my works is a stack of parchments, by intention. So, in truth, most old parchments are monotoned – center to edge, except for their painting and calligraphy. Crumpling would destroy any old parchment – they would have been most damaged in their earliest times of pliability – before being lost, forsaken, or forlorn. Sometimes, to better protect a parchment of importance, it was rebounded, or rolled in other parchments or leathers – and indeed, the hides of animals themselves were still used as writing material and more often, as protective coverings for the more fragile documents and maps as they came to be known. The idea of hide usage is suggested in several works including the, “Canyonlands” piece. Even today – some artists buy materials from fabric markets and paint on the backside of those materials – as if they were man-made hide. This piece looks like such, but, actually, its rock with some bone…
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