Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Intro to Painting: building a canvas

One of the projects for intro to acrylic painting is to build a canvas stretcher and stretch then gesso canvas over it. We were shown how to do this one of the first days of term, but some of the wood hadn't arrived yet so there was really only enough for perhaps 2 small canvasses. But the wood arrived, and our professor advised us to make our canvas as soon as possible, before the woodshop is swamped. It's a big shop I think, but is shared by all the painting classes (three main ones, plus "special topics" series) and the sculpture classes. But, no classes actually meet there, so you just pop in between 12 and 5, or something. Sometimes it's open a bit later. So today I finished just as it was time to leave, didn't have time to do my canvas but I'd left it home anyway. (I didn't plan on going over to the shop until my professor mentioned we should do it soon)So! Here it is! Small because I cut up part of my big canvas roll to make a vest for my Halloween costume that I ended up not using, and so I only have 2 medium rectangles of canvas left. And it's already primed, since I bought it before term started and I got the official materials list. I'm a bit proud of it, although I had trouble measuring the quarter rounds (that's the border, it keeps the nails and staples from making bumps in the canvas) so the corners have little crooked gaps.
I finished my mid quarter conference so I finally got to bring home my favorite works and put them up! Whenever people come into my room they always compliment the ones I had up, which were only up to keep them out of harm's way and put some color on the wall, not representing subjects i really like or anything like that.

My mid quarter conference went well. The professor is cryptic and tells long, meandering stories and it is very hard to gauge what he means. He usually goes around and gives suggestions as we work. Saturday he gave students very specific suggestions and when he got to me he just said "having fun?" I said I was. Then today I was working on a rhinocerous and he asked if it was my spirit animal and I said no. Then he suggested I use bright orange as the background for my rhinocerous and I said that would make my green rhinocerous recede and he said it would be nonrealism, and i should at least do it and if i didn't like it i could paint over it. And I did like it, but I would rather something else.
This is the image I am working from. See how it wants a grey background? Or a gray violet background? But no, it has orange. (The painting is drying in my locker, didn't want to carry it and chance ruining it or my clothes)

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