Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Ever-Changing Canvas (aka: The Experiment)

   Once upon a time there was a canvas.  It was your standard canvas, from a craft store, with a nice clean coat of gesso...  This canvas sat patiently, waiting for the day an idea would be born.

As the idea began, the canvas rejoiced to see color and forms take shape on its surface.  Soon, a house was revealed, with plants and windows and life...

The canvas was happy.
But soon, more ideas began to take shape.  Photos were contemplated, different forms reflected upon. 
 Soon the canvas was again covered in a clean coat of gesso, and new colors and branches took their place on its surface. The canvas liked the house, but didn't mind the new ideas and look.
 These trees were lovely.  The contrast of their dark, bare branches against a light blue, wintry sky was an interesting subject.  The canvas was happy as it absorbed the paint and colors.

 Soon, more ideas were pursued.  No new coat was worn, but more layers of papers and paint were added to the colors already there.  Pieces of maps and brown paper were added over the branches, giving them texture and interest.  What were these ideas that kept the transformations coming?
 Still more colors were added to the surface.  Dark browns added to the edges gave the canvas a time-worn look, like it had been in existence for decades.  Transfers of maps were added...what was this direction, and these words:  "The Way?"
 Soon enough, the canvas put on one last new coat of white gesso.  It sat this way for some time, as the interesting brush strokes and texture of the paper branches stood out in the different shadows and light that fell onto it.

More color...this time not from paints, but markers?  Interesting.  Markers in blue, yellow, green and orange all added here and there, around the branches, giving depth to the tree.  Blue near the ground, cool and calm.  Yellow and orange near the top, where the light would be brightest. And green in the center, where blue and yellow mix, and growth takes place.
   "Tree of Life"
And the canvas was happy...


  1. What a beautiful thing, to witness the transformation, Holly.:) And it reminds me of a story I have always loved about a boy and a tree... and the tree was happy. I tried painting once. I didn't feel like I was very good at it, but maybe I'll try again and let it flow like this. I really loved this post.

    1. I love that story too, Roni! I encourage you to try painting again. Even just for the fun of experimenting! :)


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