repurposing a canvas and painting
I went to the Northville Art House's "Art from the Attic" fundraiser/sale over the weekend with the intention of finding some paintings on canvases that were already in frames. I wanted to find art that someone was tired of and donating to the Art House, have the Art House get a portion of the sale, and then repurpose the frame (I needed to find something I could put one of my finished repurposed canvases in) and then take that new-to-me-but-unwanted-by-someone-else painting and turn it into a "new" piece. And although it's not like I think I invented re-using old canvases, but I was surprised to hear other people at Art from the Attic talking to each other about doing the same thing with the pieces they were looking at. I would love to see how theirs turn out -- are they repainting? Collaging? I will never know.
I have been happy (so far) with reusing my old vision board canvases, but I wasn't sure how it would work out with a painting by someone else...because the foundation isn't my work.
Okay, so I pulled out some more of the same light colored neutral papers I used in the smiling, mask-wearing, dancin' dog guy canvas.
Then I set to work on separating the painting(s) from their frames.
This was the one I thought might work the best. It is/was a landscape painting on canvas. And it was the frame that would work best for the "He Says He Knows Two Ghosts" piece I am submitting for consideration in a show this week.
Judging from the back of the canvas it is either fairly old or just kind of unloved...it is a bit stained and dirty.
I wanted to get some papers down onto the surface before I showed it. I would feel really badly if the former owner was offended by my re-use of their old art.
So the papers were going down nicely. I tried to leave small areas of the original painting. This is/was a landscape and some of the papers have botanical inclusions...they sort of look like tiny trees and leaves on the canvas.
I was using butcher paper underneath to protect the table. I tore off a few small pieces to see if the butcher paper was thin enough to see through and to adhere to the canvas. It worked fairly well but I wouldn't want to use a lot of it.
This is an area where (in person) you can see some of the original painting...and the inclusions look like tiny trees.
Here is the newly covered, very wet canvas drying on the wall. I wonder what will emerge through the layers?
I also picked up three large watercolors in metal frames with glass. This is not what I had in mind, but for the price I figured I'd give it a go.
I needed to get the frame loose enough to slide the painting and matting out but stay in tact enough to be able to tighten it back up again to store the glass...that is a BIG (and heavy) piece of glass.
This painting is/was a swirl of dark colors on watercolor paper that was "floating" in the center of the mat. I needed to cut the old hinge of the mat so that I could collage the watercolor paper to the back part of the mat.
See...I didn't count on doing this (paper vs a canvas) and I was determined to make it work...
...but the watercolor paper (predictably) just got really wet with the gel medium and went all distorted and un-flat. The paper did not want to cooperate. I learned this is not the right application for re-using something like this.
But by this time I was already waaaay into the process and had used a lot of gel medium and paper -- I needed to keep going.
I think I will probably have to go back in again once this mess is dry and add more papers.
The watercolor colors were totally lost under the collage papers. I bought a total of three of these and I think one of the others might work, but I don't know if I want to invest the time, papers, and gel medium.
Here it is drying on the studio floor...it is that large.
I am not totally sure that the watercolor paper will dry flat to the mat and that the collage papers will hold it down to the mat. I am trying to envision what the buckled paper will look like sitting just inside of the mat opening...not sure it'll work. I could always get another mat cut with a smaller opening I guess...and perhaps the paper will dry sort of flat.
It might be salvageable, we'll have to wait and see.