Wednesday, February 4, 2009

. . . scrapped a canvas

Yesteray was not a very successful day in the studio. I was going to write that it had not been a very good day in the studio, but any day to make art is a good day, even if not completely successful. I don't remember a time that I have actually had to completely scrap an entire canvas, at least not while I was trying to paint it. Usually even if the painting is complete crap, I will stick with it until something emerges from the mess, whether good or bad. But yesterday, the gods of glue were not watching over me.

Despite all my experimentation, (or maybe because of it) I have decided to stick to the "good stuff" for my paintings: that is, artist quality paints, medium, gels, etc. So I probably can't blame the product. Nothing, but nothing, seemed to want to stay on that canvas. Layers of paint, washes, paper, nothing. Everything kept bubbling up. And the more I tried to fix it, the worse the whole thing got. I tried sanding, which had a really cool effect, but didn't actually help anything. I reapply gesso; I scraped stuff off, I put stuff on. I made a huge mess. And finally, I gave up, rolled up the canvas, and dumped it in the trashbag. I will probably check on it later today in the hopes that something amazing happened overnight. Like maybe the art fairies came while I slept and created a masterpiece.

I was given advance warning that one of my canvases was headed back here for a touch-up. I was worried about it, wondering just how bad the damage was and whether I could fix it. The canvas came yesterday. The Fed Ex guy had a hard time finding my house. That's because all the house numers fell off and broke last summer (they were ceramic tiles put up by previous owners) and I haven't put the new ones back up yet. In some ways, it's a good thing not to be able to be found. Anyway, that tube sat there in the hall for the rest of the afternoon, unopened. Finally, after the fiasco of the nonstarter canvas, I thought, what the hell, it can't get worse. I opened the tube. There is a tiny little chip in the paint in the bottom left corner. Easily fixable. That's what I'll do today. Please let the gods of fixing canvas be with me today so that I don't screw it up.


Jazz said...

May the gods of canvas watch over you and the gods of creation love you today.

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

No, no, no, get that canvas back out of the trash. At the very least it can be cut or torn into pieces for new collages. Not today while yesterday's frustration is still fresh in your mind, but another day in the future.

I will be in KC in May for workshops and gallery hopping.

Mary Buek said...

Jazz: It worked, your incantation worked. Everything went well with the fix-it job. Thanks.

Karen: Good idea. I didn't even look at it yesterday. Maybe today. And, what workshops and where? Where are you staying? Maybe we can get together, I would love to have an art buddy to hang out with.