For the past few days I have been prepping canvases. I ordered twenty mostly large primed and stretched pieces. This is the not-fun part. With Covid digging its feet in, it is easier to buy in bulk. And I like to be prepared for anything.
So, here’s what I have been doing to prepare to paint: First I glue on xeroxed photographs taken from my life As well I glue on small pieces of fabric. Then I have to wet and remove the back of the paper. (Did you know that paper is made of two layers? I didn’t until I started doing this process.) After this I need to coat the canvas in clear gesso in order to keep the images and canvases safe from the oil paint. I have to wait three days for the acrylic gesso to dry. Then, finally, I can start applying paint.
This morning I actually became so absorbed in removing the paper I lost track of time. It surprised me, for sure. If I fight the process, find it boring and frustrating, it is painful. The good part is I can see new ways of working with what I am and have put down. It can be good. But next time I will use a thinner paper so it won’t be so labor intensive!
I've also thought of gluing the xeroxed photographed images directly to the canvas, bypassing the paper-removing stage. Needs more research to find out how safe it is as I use oil paint and oil is known to eat paper for lunch. I'd be embedding it in acrylic gel and clear gesso, but it still seems like it could be unstable. And maybe I would miss all the heavy-duty prep work! It definitely gives me time to think about what I am doing and will do. And I need the images even if I do cover them up for the most part. They are very inspiring, like energy drinks. My cheer leaders!