Gargi Singh is an Environmental Engineering faculty and researcher. She says “art is about freedom and quietly but surely asserting one’s being-ness and truth. I think my work reflects these values by being very personal and unbound by frigid how-to’s”.
Gargi has found that some papers are very well suited for her watercolor work, such as cotton rag paper and hemp paper.
Most of the paper she has purchased from Bluecat are perfect for using soft pastel. She was pleasantly surprised by how well the hemp tissue papers take the rich Sennelier soft pastels.
Tell us about yourself and your work
My name is Gargi Singh, and in my personal life, I go with Priya. I am an Environmental Engineering faculty and researcher and have recently resumed my childhood favorite hobby of painting.
For me, art is about freedom and quietly but surely asserting one’s being-ness and truth. I think my work reflects these values by being very personal and unbound by frigid how-to’s.
How did you find out about the tree-free paper that Bluecatpaper makes?
As an academic, I consume a lot of paper and its environmental cost haunts me: even recycled paper is not exactly free from logging. I remember staying up late at night looking for alternatives. I found Bluecatpaper on Google and was immediately taken in by the beauty and diversity of their papers.
How does Bluecat Paper make your work unique?
Texture! The texture alone is to die for. Knowing that the papers I am using are tree-free just helps me do art with less guilt and more freedom.
Additionally, I have found that some papers are very well suited for my watercolor work, such as cotton rag paper and hemp paper. Most of the papers that I have purchased from Bluecat are perfect for using soft pastel. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the hemp tissue papers take the rich Sennelier soft pastels.
What’s your process like while working on Bluecat Paper’s product?
Art is gentle in its freedom. I am grateful for the very onset that I can choose kinder papers and colors. To do good and to choose kindness is healing for everyone. Every time I use Bluecat’s tree-free papers, I feel grateful and reverence for the material used.
When I use the coconut husk paper, I am thinking of coconut fibers and I admire how they take on the oil pastels. I am just so happy when I use the hemp paper: It is so much more sustainable and what Bluecat has created with it is just so very beautiful.
I also love making my own art diaries and notebooks with tree-free paper from Bluecat.
What other materials do you use along with Bluecat Paper?
Oil pastels, soft pastels, watercolors (shout out to natural stone pigments from Hussain Papers), crayons, acrylics, and ink
What advice do you have for artists starting with Bluecat Paper?
Every paper that I have tried from Bluecat has its unique gifts. Use them accordingly.
Do you have a favourite project or piece?
Yes! A quick painting of my canine ethology teacher, Sindhoor Pangal with her sick and aging dog. It is very special for me because it honours the work of my teacher and for me somehow captures the love of the short but enriching lives of our animals.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
Yes, what helped me enjoy and explore the diverse papers from Bluecat is the conscious choice to play with art supplies. This freedom really helped me understand which paper does best with what medium.
The range of paper from Bluecatpaper includes the following.
cotton rag paper | coffee husk paper | corn husk paper | linen paper | seed paper | elephant poo paper |
hemp paper | mulberry paper | flax paper | lemongrass paper | banana paper | rice stubble paper |
Which paper did you use?
- Hand made papers of different colors (white, black, light coffee, beige – I found them to be excellent for crayons, oil pastels, and acrylics)
- Naturally textured flax paper
- Naturally textured banana paper
- Coconut coir deckled edge paper (Excellent with oils, oil pastel, and soft pastel)
- Hemp rolling paper, tissue paper, naturally viable papers (The rolling paper and naturally viable paper were great with watercolors and ink. The tissue paper was surprisingly great with very soft pastels)
- Premium art cotton paper (Good for most mediums)
- Cotton rag paper (Excellent for watercolors)
Which would you like to pick next?
Rice stubble and linen sound very interesting. Also, I definitely want to continue experimenting with hemp paper. I love them so much!
Regarding the artwork that I am sharing:
- The portrait in grey is a self-portrait from the day I defended my doctoral dissertation.
- I used acrylics on handmade paper from @Bluecatpaper for all the portraits.
- I used cotton paper for the watercolor portrait of the dog.
- The sketch is of a fallen dead tree and I made it with oil pastels on coconut fiber paper.
- The watercolor slipper sketch is from a visual diary that I made from cotton paper using Coptic stitch.
- The sheep painting is on hemp rolling paper using soft pastel
For more on Gargi Singh
For more on Bluecatpaper