• Arlene's Artist Materials

Problem Solved: Talking with Jon Christopher Gernon about Arches Oil Paper

Updated: Jan 28, 2021


August 26, 2020


Slowdive by Jon Christoper Gernon, Oil on Arches Oil paper, 22" x 30", 2020


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the interviewee, and not necessarily that of Arlene’s Artist Materials. Please contact with any questions. In the interest of full disclosure Jon Christopher Gernon works at Arlene's Artist Materials.


Painting on paper is frustrating. Yes you can physically do it but before long there are problems. After a short while oil bleeds through the back and before you know it the paper is completely eaten a way by the oils and solvents. No one wants to deal with that. Especially if you are a professional artist. There are ways around this but they seem more like “old wives tales” than actual serious help. That is until Arches Oil Paper. Arches Oil Paper is the art materials world’s sleeper best surface to paint on.

Local artist and colleague Jon Christopher Gernon and I had a discussion about the many graces of Arches Oil Paper. Jon’s work is currently on display in the group show Visions at the Albany Center Gallery. He has been using Arches Oil Paper for years; more so now because you don’t have to stretch it and ease of storage. Jon also paints large. One of the pieces he painted for the show was approximately 40”X60 '', and because of this he decided to special ordered a roll of the Oil Paper. He said he unrolled the paper and just taped it to a board in the four counters. The next day it was completely flat with no curve. He went on to say “ That’s surprising because you can’t do that with regular watercolor paper.”

I asked Gernon what is the one thing he likes best about Arches Oil Paper? He quickly replied “the bounce of the paper and velvety feel it has with bristle brushes. There are no words to better describe it. It's not like any surface. It is also very forgiving and there is no bleed through to the other side.” All in all it's a great surface to work on but it resolves the problems that painting on paper inherently has. Plus you don’t have to prime it. It’s ready to paint.

We further talked about how not only is it great for oil painting but it is one of the best surfaces for mixed or multi media too. It can take any medium well and all at once. Now if that doesn’t peak your interest and make you want to try it I don’t know what will.

About: Jon Christopher Gernon:

Jon Christopher Gernon has cultivated more than twenty-five years experience with the local arts scene. A widely exhibited and collected artist, Gernon’s work is featured in more than fifty group and solo exhibitions in the United States, Canada and Europe. Most recently in the group show Tempera: Nurture & Nature at the Attleboro Art Museum and Visions at the Albany Center Gallery. He is currently working on a body of work to be shown in Japan in 2021.

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