Bare Naked CanvasAugust 18, 2008
I recently got a couple of comments on my post “The Camera Eagle Has Landed” that I would like to discuss here. The first was from Frank who admitted that my new camera was indeed better, but suggested (as a direct result of the improved-clarity-that-came-back-to-bite-me-in-the-ass) that I had not covered every fiber of the bare canvas and that perhaps I should if I ever expect to sell a painting to him (he who is on the top of my note-to-self of people not to sell to).
My first response was to be defensive (yes, I can be defensive) and say that the painting was so bloody small (it is a tiny little miniature) that he really needed to cut me some slack. That was when Janet (who I like much better) wrote in and made a comment that it is sometimes a sign of a watercolorist since they often do not cover every bit of canvas and that she does not mind that. This got me thinking.
I went back and started looking at a lot of my paintings. I always start portraits and still lifes with a toned canvas. It is usually a middle value and a neutral color. I rarely ever cover every micrometer of the canvas with paint once I commence to actually paint. Below is a close up example of a pot I painted in which you can see the bare, albeit brownish, tone of the canvas at the bottom of the pot.
In fact good ol’ Hermanz van Rijn didn’t cover every minuscule piece of canvas either FRANK. Here is a close up of his eyes from one of his self portraits where you can see the bare canvas, DUDE.
(You’re damn right I deliberately put my work next to his. This is my blog and I’ll be arrogant if I want to.)
Alright, maybe it’s true that I should have had a darker tone on that miniature tiny little bitty painting so that Frank couldn’t accuse me of not using enough paint. Then maybe Frank wouldn’t be so critical and he might have purchased the little guy. I wonder if he’d turn down a painting by my boy van Rijn too.