Working on Recycled Canvas

I recently finished a painting on recycled poly canvas, “inspired” by the current floundering U.S. presidential administration. I can’t afford to pay the current prices for medium to large canvasses unless they’re marked down considerably. So I often resort to painting over recycled canvasses I find in thrift stores. Here’s the thing about painting on recycled canvas: you never know how the medium under your paint is going to affect your medium and paint. In this case, the previous painting was a large print on poly canvas — the type that sells in stores like Cost Plus Imports, and eventually wind up in Good Will (where I found this). I’ve read that poly canvas actually holds up longer under acrylics & oils than cotton or linen canvas. But the stuff they put on it, especially because poly canvas is used for prints, can be a problem. The thin, varnish layer cracked my gesso. Previously, I’d considered such effects a nuisance that ruined my paintings, and tried to use only recycled painting surfaces that were not varnished and done in acrylics. With this painting, I realized it could be fun and interesting to work with what I get…

Ship of State

“The Ship of State Attempts to Fly” (see below). Acrylics and collage. On recycled poly canvas. 27 x 18 x 2 inches.

SideView

Painted side view.

Pattern Maker #2

“Pattern Maker 2,” incorporates collaged pieces from my mother’s pencil-drawn dress patterns. She made patterns on paper bags, daily newspapers, and tissue (wrapping) paper. I found them in a Hart’s fabric store bag. The pins are still stuck in the patterns, so I kept them in (see upper right). “Back” in red is her handwriting on a Santa Cruz Good Times newspaper advertising section (early 1990s).

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Detail showing handwriting and pin.

Pattern Maker

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Pattern maker #1. 12 x 12 x 1 inches. Acrylics and collage on canvas. This beings a series that incorporates pieces from my mother’s hand-penciled dress patterns.