Canvas Exploration

December 8, 2006 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

To me, working in a journal is comfortable, safe. The cover can be shut and hide all those drippings of experimentation and mistakes from the outside world, away from judging eyes — art is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and such fragile beings like us humans cannot, at times, take even the kindest criticism even if it means to improve us.

I’ve never worked on canvas, ever. Sure, I’ve walked through the art stores I so adore, watching others pick and choose those pieces of canvas stretched over a wooden frame, have looked up at the wall holding paintings by employees. I never considered myself part of that world — I am an outsider, a writer with a paintbrush with peeling handles because I never knew to get plastic or lacquered ones, a girl who draws doodles that couldn’t possibly be art or illustration because of their unprofessional nature. I would look on in awe while grabbing markers or pens to write with in my journals.

Yesterday, I went wandering — took the long way, turned on roads previously unexplored, flipped my route to see the familiar in a new way.

StargazerAnd I ended up buying some canvases.

What would I do with them? Paint and treat them like pages in my journal, try out those techniques I’d perfected where no one else could see? Unlike a page that could be turned, a canvas can’t. Sure, it can be painted over and transformed, but I have a hundred pages and only a few canvases. My last piece, on canvas board, didn’t sell or even have an interest — why would I keep going? Was there a light at the end of this tunnel I’ve started jogging down with high expectations?

I know my art is liked. I know it is accepted, thought of as beautiful, appreciated. I know this. And that’s why I keep going. Last night, while watching television with an old friend, I made my first piece on canvas. I figure I need to approach this in the way I would spec scripts, taking the advice of those writers who came when I was in Los Angeles: Don’t show your first specs. Or second. But keep writing them. Because with each spec, approached and treated like the final you’d try to sell or use to get a job, you improve. The more you write, the better you’ll get. And maybe your 20th will be the one to work, but you would never have gotten there without the 19 before.

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Entry filed under: Collaging.

A Style of my Own I’ve Moved!

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