• Palimpsest Series 6 #PP056

This painting, titled “Palimpsest”, is a work in water media on paper. 

A “palimpsest” is a manuscript or a piece of writing on which the original writing is effaced to make room to be replaced by new writing. Traces of the original writing are still visible. 

This painting is the sixth of an ongoing series of abstract works on paper. It comes together through progressive mark-making and drawing with long-handled brushes, layering with multiple cohesive water-soluble transparent colors of paints including acrylics applied in washes, and more layers with hake brushes to create depth. The imagined writing creates structure and intrigue. It is sealed by a final coat of acrylic medium. I try to maintain freshness in the painting while adding an element of timelessness. All these elements make the painting attractive from a distance and encourage the viewer to get closer to explore for a richer experience.


The painting on paper is unframed. Requires framing. The painted area measures 20 X 18, and with the border, it is 30 X 22.

History of paper and making art on paper.


Paper, the versatile material, is essential in communication and education and is at the heart of documentation of significant historical developments. However, the role of paper has changed over the centuries.

Of late our lives are becoming increasingly paper-free. Information is stored in computers and in clouds, e-readers are commonplace, and email has been replacing written communication. The last telegram was sent in 2013. 

Preserving natural resources and preventing tree cutting is another reason.

The art world has been adapting to these changes as well. In 2012 artist David Hockney exhibited a series of drawings at the Royal Academy he made using an iPad. As a focus on this effect on artists, “Paper”, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London celebrated the use of paper by contemporary artists as a surface for drawing and painting but also as a product rich in association with our daily lives. The exhibition gave a glimpse at how some of the artists use paper now, in contrast to its early beginnings.

The world’s first recorded paper-making process dates to 105 AD. Ts’ai Lun, a court official for the Chinese Han Dynasty, pulped mulberry tree fibers together with used rags and fishnets to create the first recorded paper.  Before the invention of paper, alternative surfaces for writing and communication utilized include clay tablets and stone inscriptions. A thick material made of papyrus plant was used in ancient Egypt. Many ancient cultures used dried animal skins known as parchment for writing on. 

The history of papermaking was not without conflict. In 751 AD, when the T’ang army was heavily defeated by the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate, Chinese soldiers who were papermakers were captured and brought to Samarkand. Under duress, they gave up their paper-making secrets. Following this, the first Arabic paper industry was established in Baghdad in 793 AD.

Despite recent technological advances, the paper is still the surface of choice for artists, whether for a rapid sketch or delicate watercolor or a painting that would live for prosperity.

There is nothing like holding a book or painting in beautiful watercolor paper.

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Palimpsest Series 6 #PP056

  • Brand: Sudha Achar
  • Product Code: Palimpsest Series 6 #PP056
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $1,200.00


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Tags: paintings, acrylic paintings, abstract paintings