The Artist’s Floor: Repurposing an Old Canvas to Study a Master

I recently visited the exhibit Monet: The Early Years at the Kimbell Art Museum.  Every time I visit an art exhibit, I feel the desire to do a painting.  Only this time, I couldn’t find inspiration for a composition.  Setting the idea aside, I set off on another task… Cleaning up the disaster that was our bedroom.  While clearing out one of the many piles of “random”, I came across an old painting of mine.  Well, to be honest, it was more of a collage than a painting.

original-abstractI will give you a little background on this collage…  When I was younger I used to create what I called anger paintings.  Basically it consisted of whatever medium I could find (watercolors, acrylic paints, tissue paper, you name it) and miscellaneous colors strewn about the canvas.  It was my way of being upset in a “constructive” manner.  Fast forward many years and I had this work of art hanging on the wall. After some contemplation, I laughed at myself and decided there was no real need to honor old pinned up anger on our walls.  It made its way into a forgotten corner, and that is where it stayed until today.

Looking at the canvas, I began to think of what I should do with it. That’s when I decided to do a study of the masters.  Well, one of the masters. In particular, the father of impressionism himself: Claude Monet.  I figured it fitting since I had just been to see an exhibit of his work.  I chose “Impression. Soleil levant” done in 1872 by Claude Monet. After photographing my original abstract, I got out my gesso and got to work.

gesso-processMany of the Masters reused their old canvases, Picasso and Van Gogh to name just two.  There are several examples of famous pieces of art that have shadow paintings underneath. While I am certainly not comparing myself to these great artists, I do like the idea of re-purposing. After I had added a good layer of white gesso over the canvas, I began to study the composition and tones of Monet’s painting. Trying to pay close attention to his brushstrokes, I emulated the swoop pattern prominent in many of his works. I took a few artistic liberties and I am happy with the finished work.  I hope you found this inspiring and perhaps even consider re-purposing one of your own discarded works of art to study the work of a master.

Study with Title.jpg

-Celeste, the AIM studios

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