November 21, 2004

Paper/rock/canvas

At a dinner party last night (and by the way, the meal was fantastic, delicious broiled salmon and other goodies) I was asked if I ever do work on paper. (The person asking had actually purchased a piece of mine on paper that was a donation to a charity auction, a situation which all artists are called upon and consider somewhat painful after too many requests but now I do very small pieces just for that situation.) I think the question might have referred more specifically to drawing but I answered it more in the context of painting.

I do paint on paper, but less and less often now. In my beginning painting days, paper was less frightening, not as much of an investment, financially or otherwise. Now I find it more tedious, not as exciting as working on canvas. And when I exhibit my work I rarely show the paper pieces any more. Because when I do, people donít look at the work on canvas as much. The work on paper is easier, more accessible. Perhaps this is a factor of the difference between paper and canvas: the paper just lies there and receives whereas the canvas, being taut on stretcher bars, talks back. Has bounce, gives as much as it takes.

I enjoy the conversation I have with the canvas, sometimes gentle, often sassy, usually demanding, never letting me forget its needs. And the goal of this is a continuing conversation with the viewer. I think the questioner, being an excellent graphic artist recently bit by the love of paint, understood, had the same experience in his explorations with the medium of painting.

Posted by leya at November 21, 2004 05:12 PM