The Art of Making Art

If one was to look through my sketchbook, they would find the pages filled with thoughts and ideas that hang in the balance of existence.  It’s a chaos like the beginnings of a new universe.  Through all of this, the artist must discover who they are and where they are going.

For me, my sketchbook is a reflection of my thoughts, dreams, ideas, and struggle of defining who I am through my  faith.  For several years I have continued with the project that defined my Senior Showcase, Self Portraits of Faith.  Over the years, I have modified it, shaped it to encompass so much more.  It still focuses on aspects of my faith and the aspects of the barbarian, the lover and the warrior, but it includes portraits of others.

I’ve renamed the series that I plan to work on this summer as Portraits of Faith.

Over the past couple of years, I have not had the opportunity to pursue painting, so I have relied on drawing, which I enjoy, but it’s not the same.  There is just something about spreading paint on the canvas that makes me feel like an artist.

Within my sketchbook, I have held onto ideas for paintings.  They have developed and consumed pages upon pages throughout several sketchbooks.  While not every idea will be painted, by my last count, I have about twenty ideas that will eventually become paintings.


Now that I’m home for a couple of months this summer, I decided it was time to get back into creating canvases for paintings.  This past Friday, when I had enough light to last all day, I went out onto my parents back porch and set up a workspace to build my stretcher bars and canvases.


Due to the fact that neither myself or my dad had a powered reciprocating miter saw, I got the next best thing, a miter box.  While it took slightly longer to cut each stretcher bar at a 45 degree angle, the satisfaction of meticulously cutting each piece paid off and it made me smile as I worked outside in my Green Team Leader shirt.


By the end of the afternoon, after about three and a half hours of work, I had completed constructing, stretching and gessoing four canvases to use for paintings.  While it wasn’t the quickest process, I enjoyed it nonetheless and it reminded me of why I love all aspects of painting, especially the art of constructing my own stretcher bars and stretching my own canvas.


At the time, I questioned Professor K when he urged us to learn how to make our own stretcher bars, requiring it for at least one painting.  I haven’t looked back since.  I don’t think I could ever return to preconstruced stretcher bars or canvases now that I have fallen in love with fabricating  my own canvases.

I believe that all painters should at least know how to construct their own canvases.  Maybe I’ll make a tutorial next time I make some stretcher bars and canvases.  That’s a plan.

God Bless and PEACE


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