The Journey of the Canvas Painting

My art is the result of concept and craftsmanship, born from an active imagination coupled with an insistence on quality.
I paint with Heavy Body acrylic from Golden Paints. These professional paints provide me with the widest selection of 100% pure pigments, and are known for their exceptional consistency and permanency.
I have traditionally painted on wooden framed cotton canvas but have now switched to exhibition grade stretched linen due to its added strength and durability. Linen retains its natural oils, which helps to preserve the fibre's flexibility and stops the canvas from becoming brittle.
I tighten the canvas and prime it with a clear coat of Gesso. This provides a better painting surface and stops the paint from soaking into the fibres too quickly. Once this has dried, the real work begins!
Before I even approach a primed canvas I will have spent many hours, and sometimes days, developing a picture in my mind. I walk every day along the Sussex coast, South Downs or in woodland with my trusted canine muse, Phoebe. She is used to me dreamily staring at the skyline or sometimes investigating some flotsam, all the time framing the perfect photo and snapping away.

Back in the studio these images are shuffled and browsed; the possibilities unfold and my imagination frames the next canvas art piece. Only then do I pick up my first brush.

This inspiration image may stay constant in the canvas as it is created whilst, at other times, the paint seems to direct me down a new path!

After a few days and many dabs, daubs and brushstrokes later, I realise that my painting is almost finished. Just one more dot, swirl or flick of the brush and it is complete!

Once the painting is dry I apply an 'isolation' coat which seals any absorbent areas. I allow that to dry and then apply two to three coats of clear varnish to protect the painting from dust, sunlight and moisture.

I also love the extra quality that the varnish provides, as it not only adds a subtle sheen but also lifts the pigments, adding to their vibrancy.
The final step is to consider the framing. I prefer a 'floating' frame, which is made of wood and leaves a small gap between the frame and the canvas. This gap creates a shadow and an effect that the canvas is floating; it really makes the painting 'pop'.

We are almost at the end of the journey. The fittings are attached and there is a quality control check carried out by both Steve and I.

Most importantly, the Love Test! If we love it, it will be photographed, priced and put on the website for sale. If we do not, then it will go back into the studio as work in progress or recycled.

I hope this will help you to better understand what goes into my canvas creations.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to drop me line.
This blog was originally posted on 1 Feb 2021
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