Blank Canvas….No More!

Did you know painting a canvas is a slow process if you don’t use a heat gun?

You lay down a few layers and then you have to let it dry or you make mud.

Especially if you are using primary colors.

Red, blue, and yellow are the colors that came to mind as I started this canvas. I think this primary palette always brings out the kid in me. It takes me back to a place when scribbling and making a mess we’re okay.

I seriously had no idea where this canvas is going when I started it and I still have no idea where it is going even now.

I started by writing with black Sharpie all over the surface — journaling in a stream of conscious manner everything that was in my head at the time. I recently read the monthly newsletter of my friend Connie Hill. Her February newsletter is all about picking a word of the year for 2016. I have had words popping in and out of my mind since New Years. One of my favorites is Worthy. Worthiness is definitely something I need to think about and absorb into my soul.

But the word that came out for me on this canvas during my impromptu journaling session is Bravery. Being brave is something I am just starting to understand. It’s like courage, but on another level. You have to have courage before you can be brave. So I think 2016, for me, is going to be all about bravery and being brave.

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Once the words were down on the canvas, I started putting paint on and brushing it around. Red first, then blue. A happy accident came when I added the blue. I must have added a little water to the container in a previous project because the blue was pretty watery. Yea for drips! I should have waited for the painting to dry before I added the yellow – but that’s okay.

The next morning, I added more yellow. Yellow is my favorite color, and so I went a little crazy. Rapidly, there was too much yellow. The whole canvas went from serious to sunny in a matter of seconds.

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I grabbed baby wipes and my favorite stencil and went to work pulling up the yellow to reveal the red and blue underneath. I kind of wish I had started in the center, but now I know that for the future. I love the spontaneous bits of learning that happen when you’re working on a project. I cannot change it, but I will clearly remember this in the future.

Here is the canvas right now. It’s dry and ready for my next session. I’m not sure what I will do next. Make sure to subscribe to find out!

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Fear of the Blank Canvas

Earlier this week a good friend of mine and I were discussing painting and she mentioned to me that she struggles with blank canvas anxiety. Every artist struggles with getting started, I told her. Every single one.

Yesterday, I went to Aaron Brothers with my daughter to purchase some frames and stumbled upon a 24 x 24 canvas at a price I could not pass up. It’s pictured here, unwrapped, in all of its potential glory.

I’ve never painted anything this large, but I’m going to. I’ll be sharing the progress with all of you too.

I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to do to this canvas, but I will share with you several of my go-to techniques for working in journals and on smaller pieces. Stay tuned to see which of these I use.

  • Write on it! Write really big and really messy or small and calculated.
  • Pour paint on it! And bush or brayer in multiple directions!
  • Spray it! Be careful with using water soluble inks – they might bleed through.
  • Scribble on it! Feed that inner child.
  • Collage it! Take a bunch of papers and gel medium and stick!
  • Mask it! Use masking tape here and there or all over. This is an excellent start for some awesome texture.

All my love!
Michele