Painting on unstretched canvas?

When I first start to paint I didn’t really know what exactly it was that I wanted to do. So, I started by painting on paper and quickly discovered this wasn’t for me because I was putting too much paint and too much water on the paper and it was turning into paper mache.  I didn’t even know where to go at first to get the right materials to paint on which led me to paint on anything.  Walls, furniture, wallpaper, windows and whatever else I could.  I can’t remember when I bought my first stretched canvas but what I do remember is how expensive it was.


I decided after that I would try and buy unstretched canvas because I could then have an area the size I wanted and it was more cost-effective.  I started buying 10M rolls of primed canvas and then going to the DIY shop and buying wood and stretching the paintings I had done when I finished them.  I didn’t do it like in the diagram above, I laid the canvas on a table and held the wood in place with some vices and stretched it over.  It worked brilliantly.  Sometimes I wouldn’t have the money to buy 10M rolls so I would go to the local drapery and buy rolls of cotton canvas, a lot cheaper.


Anyway, for years since then, I have been painting on stretched canvas bought from the art shop or online and it’s becoming expensive again because I am not selling any of my work and so I’m not making any money to buy new canvases.  I’m going back down the unstretched canvas road, which I love anyway because it gives me more freedom and there are no boundaries.  I am also running out of space to put my work so I’ll be able to roll them up.

I looked around online and it seems that there are quite a few artists like me who enjoy painting on unstretched canvas and personally I think it looks pretty awesome.  Can you imagine living in a big warehouse apartment with red brick walls and a nice Presley unstretched piece hanging on your walls? I can 🙂


Artwork By: Charlie Anderson


Author: James Presley

I am an artist and I love it. What do I have to do to live from what I love? I'm not dying or cutting me bloody ear off, that's for sure.

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