My daughter found this big pre-painted canvas at the thrift store last week.
It is obviously a hand-made canvas. The cloth overlaps too much for it to be professional. The wood framing … well, it’s a nice job, but you can see it’s not professional. There is a message written in what looks to be black Sharpie on the inside of the frame.
This is a beautiful canvas, all hand-made. The painting itself is lovely. There is a lot of scratching and textured, intentionally done, all over the painting.
To be honest, much like all the hand-knits and hand-crocheted items we find at thrift stores, it made me sad to see this canvas thrown away, thrown out, and unloved.
At first glance, I thought it might be nice enough to hang–except–that we all hang our art here at home–and this is a large canvas (I haven’t measured it–maybe 2 1/2 feet by 2 feet? something in that range…) … to hang it would take up quite a bit of real estate.
But then, I had to look at the canvas itself. The canvas itself had been pressed into who knows what and was loose in many places. Spraying the back of the painting with water, three times I think now, and letting it dry has snapped that canvas back as well as it can–although it still needs some work (the next step is a layer of house paint acrylic on the back).
The canvas material is folded over and overlapping heavily in the back, so I need to trim that down and back, just for my own edification. The sides of this canvas, which look to be about 2 inches give or take wide, are bare of paint. They were gessoed, definitely, but they stick out in sharp contrast to the painted front. Plus, during the canvas’s voyage to and through the thrift store system, the sides are actually pretty dirty. In case you are wondering, yes, when we pick up canvases, blank or otherwise, from thrift stores, we do wipe them down with a soapy rag (sometimes with a touch of bleach in the water we use) before using them.
At first my daughter was going to take the canvas–she’s the one who found it. Then, she decided she has enough large canvases that she is working on and she gave it to me.
I too have several larger canvases in process–not to mention I am actually working in my art journals at the moment. As I write this–I have focal images in two spreads waiting to be painted out…I have four journal spread backgrounds drying…and one waiting for a focal image to be added…on top of all the other stuff I have going on.
So, other than trying to tighten the drum of the canvas again, I don’t have a lot planned for it right now. Plus, I love the colors of this piece. It may take me a while to figure out what it wants to be.
I try listening to it, here and there, and I think it is too sad at having been cast aside to want to be anything else. Maybe I too am sad for it. When it is ready to transform into something else…it will let me know.