For practice pieces and demos, I’ve been experimenting with alternative surfaces like corrugated cardboard, the back of sketch pads, newspaper, etc. I really like some of the effects I can get and the way certain mediums work together on these surfaces. I’m saving money and using materials that would have just gone out with the recycling, so it also helps a tiny bit with the environment.
What if you get something you really like? Well there’s nothing to stop you from framing it–or how about just enjoying it as you would a sketch in a sketch book? You can also use it as a prototype for a similar work done on canvas or other archival suface, but I prefer to simply enjoy it for what it is as long as it lasts. A couple weeks ago I dropped the stack of samples I was carrying in to a class, it included one of my favorite pastel sketches–the whole sketch just about came off the paper–stuff like that happens. I still have a digital of it, I enjoyed the process of doing it (it was one of my best demos) and enjoyed looking at it while it was here, but it’s gone and I’ve got lots more that are still around.
Everything we make does not have to go in a gallery or exhibit, or last forever–art can be transient, in some ways that makes it more special.