Friday, September 30, 2011

Canvas Phobia

Canvas makes me anxious.  It feels so permanent.  It feels so expensive.  
It feels so REAL.  
If I commit something to canvas and hate it, I've wasted the canvas.
But if I put it on canvas and love it - then what?  Heaven knows I'm not going to sell it.  And there's only so much room on my walls (and in my closets).  Perhaps the real fear is that by committing to canvas I'm  making a statement that I value my work and think it's good.  And we all know what a horrible thing THAT would be to believe about ourselves.  

I know this is just Phyllis talking.  Have you met Phyllis yet?  She lives in my head.  She is the insecure, critical tormenter of my soul, and the seamstress of my crazy pants.  She says the most absurd things.  Things I know are false.  Still, I've been listening to her for about 44 years now and she's very persuasive.

ANYWAY.
I've been slowly putting down layers on a new canvas board and here's what's going on so far:
8"x10"
I wanted lots of texture.  It's got layers of tissue paper at the base level, and some circles carved into modeling paste, and this honeycomb texture on top.  (I found this home decor paint called "texture magic" at job lots for about a buck a tube)
I'm not sure where it's going, but I'm taking it slow.  One layer at a time.  Trying to stay focused and keep Phyllis out of the room.

So then, to quell my canvas anxiety and just have lots of good messy fun, I cranked out a stack of index cards.  It's a good, safe, cheap, comfortable way to play around with ideas and materials.

These all use tissue paper for texture, and a mix of acrylics and oil pastels.  One uses string, though I think I'd classify that as "embellishment" rather than texture.  Another has pieces of the paint-soaked baby wipe I was using to clean my hands and brushes.

 

   
 

 


I like the way they are turning out.  And I'm not as plagued by the "now what" question because heck, they're just index cards!  stick them in a box, turn them into a post card.  recycle them.  whatever.  Phyllis and I don't care.

I almost didn't link up to Paint Party Friday this week because I feel so guilty when I can't visit all the other great artists who are playing along.  It's like a full time job! (which would be great if I didn't already have a full time job).    I've been chugging along on last week's link and managed to visit and comment on about 60 of the 80 participants.  I'd like to think I'll get to the rest, but by posting this I've just committed myself to the next 80 links of loveliness from this amazing talent pool.

But I'm linking after all, because this is such a great group  I'm a comments junkie.   I read and treasure each and every one of your comments.  I learn so much from visiting your sites and following the discussions.  Knowing the time commitment it takes to sift through all the posts makes me appreciate your comments even more.    Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and Happy Paint Party Friday to you all!

24 comments:

  1. Love the colors and textures of both the painting and the index cards ~ (which is a great idea) ~ thanks for sharing the process ~ I can relate to all of it ~ namaste, Carol ^_^ ~ HPPF

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm, I wonder if Phyllis is related to my mother? They sound a lot alike. Heh.

    I like the textures in your canvas board painting and I LOVE the colors on the index cards!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Phylis sometimes seems to visit me too - I throw her straight back out again, and tell her where she can put her negative words! I love what you have done! Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love these pieces with all the textures!!! Happy weekend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful colors and textures...perfect canvas creations! POP ART MINIS

    ReplyDelete
  6. great work you're doing on those textures, they will really make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Terrific textures and colours. Happy PPF, xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'd love to see a drawing of Phyllis. I know what you mean about canvas though, but you sure do some amazing texture and paint with paper! xox Corrine

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've been a purple and blue person all summer. Most of my stuff has a little lavender in it. So I am really enthralled by your blue and lavender art fun. Gorgeous. However, maybe it's because it is now officially autumn, I really dig that beautiful orange piece. There's just something about it that speaks to me. (Somehow I missed the early paragraph about Phyllis and I kept reading your later comments about Phyllis. I said to myself, who is this Phyllis? It must be a cat! So I went back and read your post again.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Delicious textures. I wouldn't worry about having to throw canvases away. Just toss on another layer of gesso and start over :) Happy Paint Party Friday! ~Robin Panzer Art Studio 33

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, come on, we're all comment junkies, we can admit it.

    I think your painting and all your index cards are just gorgeous, such wonderful textures and colors.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I find myself feeling the same way about painting on canvas... but your painting is coming along nicely! I love learning about what you use for texture and embellishment. So interesting :) The index cards are very cool also ~ thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. My dear we are so much alike when it comes to this canvas phobia that I was smiling at your post. And we all have this someone else living in our minds and trying to whisper all sorts of negativity.. don't worry you are not alone. As for the canvas, I am still trying to conquer that fear (no experience yet dealing with one). I applaud you for being brave and starting prepping your canvas.. seriously that is one beautiful background. That index card is a great idea and I might try and use it too just to calm me in days that I worry about what now.. Anyway, keep going and I'll be looking forward at your work. Take one step at a time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey you, don't worry about not being able to comment! I've got that guilt this week too, but I am so busy with the day job. I'll get round as many as I can.
    I'm with you on the canvas thing too - I think we all go there. However, you can always paint over. My PPF entry this week was painted over an old canvas and has some lovely texture going on underneath as a result.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am loving the color and texture, but not Phyllis! Tell her off!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just love where this is going. Beautiful colors.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Have you ever read the book, Art and Fear? There are so many great reads out there for artists. I have a painting that I just finished a few weeks back and blogged about that was the 4th painting. You are never wasting canvas. You just cover over with white gesso and keep going. If there is texture under, ignore it. You would be amazed at how facsinating some of the leftover textures help add interest to another painting. Nothing is lost! Go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Art and fea is a GREAT book. Actaully Lesley has said everything I want to say. And yes, I know Phylis well. I have just finsihed the first stage of my affirmation alphabet book. Hours and hours and hours and hours of work and now I think its amatur handmade looking crap. Hopefully she will go away and I will like it again soon.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was noding vigorously during the whole post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love your posts, you have such a way with words, makes me smile and giggle! Tell Phyllis you love her but "Scam!" I have been chicken to use canvas for the same reasons you mentioned! Yours is coming out beautiful so you give me hope! It takes me all week to look at the other PPFers too but it makes a great wind down after the drive home from work!( I think many of us starving artists have our day gigs too!) Your index cards are AWESOME!!!!Deb

    ReplyDelete
  21. I absolutely love visiting your blog! I can say with complete confidence that your art deserves canvas! Please tell Phyllis that you are no longer in need of her services and that she can take her crazy pants and hit the road! (I love that imagery, by the way!). I can totally relate though, I have a "Phyllis" of my own.

    xo
    Kristin

    p.s. I always paint over canvases I don't like... It takes some of the pressure off when you know that you can always just paint over it and star over :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. You have a beautiful touch with texture and colors in your works. Tell Phyllis to take a nap and leave you alone! Happy PPF!

    ReplyDelete
  23. As I get to know you a little bit better with each time I read your posts, I like you even better. Is that proper English? I don't know, but the voices in my head said "so what, write it anyway". hahah.. I so get your Phyllis it's kinda scary ;)

    I love your contributions to this weeks PPF and I'm glad you joined in anyway =)

    xx Jaime

    ReplyDelete
  24. You have a beautiful start to your canvas. I can get pretty anxious when I commit to a canvas too, but I keep telling myself (or the diva that lives in my head) that I can always just cover it up if I don't like it. I wish you heaps of luck in finishing it. :)

    ReplyDelete