Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stretching a Canvas

 I'm working on a piece for a group show at The Center for Contemporary Arts here in Abilene. Thought I'd show it from the beginning since I'm actually stretching a canvas for it.  Usually I depend on pre-stretched canvases I buy online from Dick Blick or ASW.  However, I happened to have an old frame of 12" by 24" size stretchers hanging around and that's the size I wanted. Initially, I began by stapling about three staples in the middle of the long side, flipping it to the opposite side, stretching it tightly and then stapling three directly across from the first ones.  Then, I did the same to the short sides.  The canvas grippers help make sure it's tight enough.  Just have to continue switching off and maintaining symmetry with my staples. I have to be careful about doing this too tightly which causes it to warp.  (very annoying and sometimes it doesn't warp until you apply the gesso) 
 I think I've gotten the proper and even tension throughout.  Tucking in the corners helps finish the back.  Later I'll trim the canvas more neatly.
Now I'm ready to put down the first coat of gesso.  I have lightly misted the canvas with water to help the gesso to soak in.  Later coats I won't need to do this.  I'll probably end up with two or three coats depending on how it looks.  It helps to change the direction of the brushstrokes with each coat so you don't get a dominate texture from the gesso.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tennis Ball original mixed media painting by Polly Jones

Tennis Ball by Polly Jones
I know, what an original title!  This is a little 6" square commission I did a while ago.  It was meant as a present for someone being taken to the U.S. Open, so I didn't want to show it beforehand.  At first I had no idea how I could make a picture of a ball interesting.  It ended up being a lot of fun.  I used the shadows to interplay with the s curves inside the ball;  this helped offset the static nature of a circle inside of a square. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lemon Lotus original mixed media painting by Polly Jones

Lemon Lotus by Polly Jones
8" square painting and collage on wooden panel.  SOLD.  I was really focusing on texture in this one and the surface is pretty interesting.  However, it didn't turn out how I had intended.  Every painting has a mind of it's own.  The plan was to use all warm colors except for the lotus bowl.  This desire came out of a wish for fall that was inspired by a week in which we have had temperatures over 100.  Every day.  Apparently I am at the mercy of using blue!  In fact, I just finished painting our dining room a turquoise color.