Illustrated Stories - My Stint with Canvas

Hi there. How are you?

I sure do have a treat for you this week. In today's Illustrated Stories post, I share not one but two pieces from my archive. Both created in 2010, I think they still hold up over time!

In 2010, I made a series of floral themed collages on canvas.

In 2010, I made a series of floral themed collages on canvas.

I hate to frame!

Like I shared last week, most of my early collage pieces were made on paper.  In order to present and sell these works, I had to frame them. Ugh, I hate framing! It's expensive, time consuming, and I always seemed to get one pesky speck of dust trapped behind the glass. After four years of framing, I started looking for finishing alternatives. This is where canvas comes into play. If you buy/construct nice, thick gallery wrapped canvases and finish off the edges, there's no need to frame.

"Virtual Insanity", mixed media on canvas. Click to purchase!

"Virtual Insanity", mixed media on canvas. Click to purchase!

My process

During my stint working on canvas, I would start by painting the canvas with a flat color. After the paint dried, I added cut and torn collage elements with matte medium. As you can see in this piece, I was working almost exclusively with magazine. Once all of the collage elements were added, I then embellished the surface with bits of paint, usually white and/or black. The last step was to add a varnish to protect the surface from light and water.

"Truth and Beauty", mixed media on canvas. Click to purchase!

"Truth and Beauty", mixed media on canvas. Click to purchase!

Standing the test of time

I sometimes look back at my old work and cringe.  It looks naive, unpolished, and just plain bad. I don't feel that way at all about these two collages on canvas. I enjoy their looseness and their improvisational quality. I like how the little bits of paint add personality and detail. (I may just have to keep them if they don't sell!)

These works have also worn really well over time. They've been toted back and forth to art fairs for years and they don't look any worse for the wear. Where I wouldn't even consider selling some of my older pieces that I made on cradled hardboard as they look so worn, these pieces look brand new!  (Sometime soon I'll write about my love/hate relationship with cradled hardboard. It's one of the reasons I stopped making original pieces.)

Collage is calling

Maybe it's all of this reflection and writing about my old work, but I've been feeling the need to go back to collage. The scissors are calling to me! It won't be the super tight/controlled birds or chairs of my most recent work. I'm thinking about something more loose and gestural. But I digress....Back to the task at hand, selling artwork!

Buy original art! It's half price!

More next week. Ciao.