These are some new paintings along with some old paintings. Many of them were paintings I haven’t had access to for various reasons. I’m in Burns Lake for the summer and I’m planning on doing a lot of painting while I’m here so stay tuned, more art on the way.
I’ve been working steady on my paintings and I haven’t finished any of the big projects I’ve been working on but I decided to post some of the smaller things that have been going through my head. The painting titled “Cathedral” was started in 2012 and then left to collect dust since then. As it was painted on raw canvas I was worried about its stability over time so one of the reasons I went back into it was to try to improve its longevity. When painting on raw canvas there are several issues that can become apparent over time, if the fabric isn’t washed before being painted on it will discolour over time due to chemicals in the fabric. And, if you use anything but distilled water on the canvas that can also cause issues with stability over time. The single biggest problem with raw canvas is that it’s very hard to clean and accumulates dust over time. So, in addition to reworking the painting I made an effort to improve its durability. I’ve been moving away from raw canvas lately but continue to use it in certain circumstances.
The other painting in this post (the 18 x 24 untitled) is as durable as paintings can be. Stretched on washed and gessoed canvas, protected for support induced discolouration (SID) and then coated with two layers of a GAC-500 isolation medium and finally varnished with a UV resistant, removable polymer. Paintings done like this one are easy to clean and can last a very long time without changing at all.
And here are a few others I’ve been working on lately, they’re not really related to the others. One is acrylic on paper, just a sketch. The others are on rigid supports because of the heavy impasto techniques used, they’re an experiment in “mixed media.”
Here are some new pieces I’ve been working on, more than half are unfinished but it’s always good to get feedback. Let me know what you think.
Acrylic paintings much less fragile than oil paintings. Acrylics are basically plastics, so using them on a canvas is like sealing that surface with plastic and can actually add to the longevity of the surface. For this reason it’s perfectly possible to use acrylics on raw canvas or other textiles without them negatively impacting the substrate. Gesso will still increase the life span of the painting but the acrylics will not eat away at the support like oils or solvents do. Additionally, many acrylics now come with a UV protective agent which helps to protect the painting from the harmful effects of the sun.
Some years ago there was an art gallery in Vernon B.C. called the “Fugitive Art Gallery.” The gallery hosted mainly artists who were not overly concerned with the permanency of their art, this made it a very interesting art gallery. The paintings would crack, colours would fade and the canvases would rot over time. True to it’s name, the Fugitive gallery itself did not last – as interesting as it was.
When deliberate, non-permanency can be an interesting subject – everything changes and fades over time, nothing is really permanent but the art should at least outlive the artist. A large part of this is selecting the appropriate surface and correctly preparing it. For example, oil paintings require a durable surface protected from the damaging contents of oils and solvents. Canvas is fine but it must be protected by a ground of some type (usually gesso), I find that the primed canvases available in most art stores are not sufficiently protected to seal the canvas from the oil over the long term, this is especially true when the paint has been heavily diluted with additional oils. If insufficiently protected the canvas will eventually rot so I recommend at least one or two additional coats of gesso to protect the canvases you buy in art stores.
As it stands the gallery in this website is much smaller than it could have been. I entrusted photographic copies of my work to an external hard drive which recently died leaving me with only very few photos of paintings which have sold. Had these works been included, the gallery section of this website would be at least double the size but as it is I have no way to get them back (so much for the archival quality of digital media). This inconvenient reality means that I actually have to pick up the brush and start painting again.
The work that you see in this website’s gallery has two sources, first is the work that I kept because it was significant to me in some way, second is work that simply hasn’t sold in art galleries (I think 5 of the paintings in the gallery are sold). In a way it’s fortunate, it has severed me from my artistic past and fixed me firmly upon the future. All my past work is consumed in digital fire and a new body of work, built on the old foundation has now become possible. Misfortune is a golden opportunity.