I love big canvases.
There's no point in even trying to deny it. Some artists prefer the small
intimate scale to interact with their viewers... not me. Give me a billboard
sized piece of canvas and I'm in hog heaven!
There are issues involved with scale. One is obvious, where does the art go?
Creating big art requires big walls, not only for painting the work but for the
person who takes it home to hang it on. If you have a 25 foot wall with nothing
on it, we're gonna be good friends! The second issue is price. Big works cost
more money. That part can be a little trickier...
Big canvases take a lot of paint, a lot of time, and a lot of focus. In the last
part of 2007 I began work on two large works, Turning Point and Maker. Turning
Point was finished in October of 2008 and exhibited in November. Maker is the
larger of the two, measuring 12 feet long and 4 feet tall.
Interestingly, Maker was the first of the the two started and I worked on it
non-stop until February of 2008. After three months all of the major areas had
been placed, the entire canvas was covered in paint. That's when the steam ran
Keeping up the enthusiasm for a painting is not difficult. When a canvas is as
large as Maker, it takes up your whole field of vision. It surrounds you. After
three months, you start to forget where you were going with the whole thing.
Suddenly you are looking at a half-finished work and saying, "What the hell
was I thinking?"
This is when a canvas needs to "cool off." I have to walk away from
it. Clear my head. Get a new perspective. Work on other things. So Maker was
taken off the wall, rolled up and stuffed in a corner.
That was February 19, 2008. Yesterday I took Maker out of the corner and it's
back up on the wall. It seems my mind has been returning to it over and over
again. So it's time to return and wake Maker up. There are new ideas for where
it needs to go, what needs to be adjusted from the original design. So here we
If you've been watching Maker progress on my website (in Works on Progress) then
it's time to check back in after a year-long hiatus. Maker is awake again.