TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT ON CANVAS BOARD
The interesting outcome about being self learned, is that one may often miss key experiences along the way.
My first two self learned oil paintings were completed on what were for me ambitious 19 3/4" X 15 5/8" size wooden panels that I prepared with coats of gesso. Why not...wood is good yes? The next several were painted on stretched canvases of varying sizes.
After moving on from wooden panels to stretched canvas, all was going fine... then an art critic or appraiser on some show was heard to say that painting on canvasboard was a "no no"! Horrors! Why, they were only for students to dabble. If this is so, has this sentiment caused or will it encourage art dealers to refrain from using "canvas board" in describing their inventory? Will they state "board" generically to avoid the negative? Will one ever know what kind of board was used? It seems, not all boards are created equally.
Confusion arises...have not many decades old canvasboard paintings been priced and sold for thousands? The appraiser continued with, 'canvas board paintings were undesirable and serious art collectors would steer away from them.' Really?
Well... ladies and gents... Not quite aspiring to be a contrarian nor wishing to miss out on that joyful experience of applying oils onto humble canvasboards, several were ordered and I began to paint on them with such a passion, that the results went from larger oils on wood and stretched canvas to many small CBs! Still... wishing to provide archival results for the collector, they have since been mounted on the highest quality non-warping archival hardboard panels. Check that off the list...there...tis done!
While painting on those firmer CB surfaces, it was rediscovered that they, like wooden panels, still offers the painter a safer support to pursue, and that making one's own surfaces by cutting and laying or mounting canvas onto archival non warping hardboards can give some painters the preferred safer-feeling less yielding surface. Still enjoying the give and take of some stretched canvases, 100% Belgian linen on archival nonwarping hardboard has become my newest fave.
A bit of history: Long before the 19th century landscape painters had pre-made tubes of paint for their en plein air work, they made use of the more portable watercolor sketches for color reference notes that they would then bring back to their studios, before attempting the larger oil paintings. Once commercial tubed pigments became available and they could paint their oils outdoors, watercolors almost went out of fashion for them. It is for this reason, that for years their watercolors were not valued nor considered completed paintings and would often fetch less at auctions and galleries. Of course, it is known that watercolors can be a difficult medium for some and that they can sell in the thousands of dollars. Good for WCs! They too have earned their bona fide place in the art world.
Coming back to the present, after having painted acrylics and watercolors which were too comfortable for me, the more demanding oils are still my fave. While not having a choice attempting to paint alone and without instruction, this can produce maddening lacrimal events...oh yes...enough to chop off one's ponytail in utter frustration; there is still a certain, delicious, languid feel of the oil between the surface and the brush...
All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form. April 2013