BECA Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana is holding an exhibition next month by 122 artists all working on 12 x 12 canvas. Each artist will create four 12 x 12 canvases. I agreed to participate because I've been meaning to create a series of smaller pieces, and I realized that having a deadline would ensure that I did!
I normally work much larger and with loose, flowing fabric, so this was a new frontier for me. I must admit, in the beginning I did feel a bit constrained by the small size. However, once I got into the creative flow, I was filled with ideas. I am creating a series of textile collages on the canvas, incorporating screenprinting, stitching and metal leaf. I've already finished 6, with 4 more in the works. Below is a preview of the series I am creating. I'll have my website updated with more photos in early June.
One of the things I discovered is that there is a big difference in canvas among different brands. I have used four different brands, purchased at local art supply stores and discount stores. Amazingly, my favorite was one that I bought a year ago at Big Lots. (for $5!) The canvas took the paint nicely, the corners were folded neatly and the wooden stretchers were very substantial. Unfortunately, the brand is not one I've seen at art supply stores, so I won't be able to obtain any more. Two of the brands were very cheaply made. The corners were so poorly finished, I wouldn't use them for the collages. Instead, I am using them for a series in which I stretch handpainted and screenprinted organza over them. The piece below was created with a flour resist, then several layers of handpainting and printing, and then paper lamination.
This venture into the small has been very fun. It is also rewarding, because they are a lot faster to complete. Instead of one a month, (my typical pace) I've been able to finish 6 in 3 weeks!