It’s okay Imelda, I understand.

I did a stock-take on all the art materials I’ve purched over the years and discovered that what Imelda Marcos was to shoes, I am to sketch books, paints, pencils, cans of spray adhesive and blank canvases. SO MANY blank canvases.

Blog_BlankCanvases   PaintTubes

The good thing about all this is that I can get started on ‘Getting my Art Into Gear’ straight away – while I’m still pumped and naiively enthusiastic – no trips to the art supply store needed.

That’s right: In 12 months, I’m aiming to have all these babies primed and painted on.

They say they’re pre-primed canvases on their packaging, but I suspect this is like buying a supermarket pizza with the toppings already in place: Laughably inadequate.

So. HURDLE #1:  How do you prime a Canvas?

You get onto YouTube.

Ah, the joys of Internetland and all those enthusiastic painters out there willing to dumb it down a bit for the likes of me. Thank you Tammy Schlosser and Don Stewart and Clive with the great UK accent.

I now know what to look for in a canvas (better late than never, I suppose), and that to prime one, it’ll need 3-4 coats of gesso, with a very light sand inbetween.

Very importantly, I learn that it’s pronounced “jess-oh”.  Don’t pretend you weren’t wondering.

Gesso

After a first attempt at priming one of the multitude, I was once again online, checking what the correct consistency of gesso should be. I doubt I have the best quality stuff on the market, but I don’t have the budget of a Filipino dictator’s wife either.

Online artist forums are another goldmine of information. Gesso, it seems, can be thinned with a little water and so now all my priming problems are sorted.

A primed canvas needs at least 2 days drying time before being painted on. Perfect procrastination fue: I could use this wait time to watch Netflix and not attempt any art whatsoever!

But then I realised that that would place me one step closer to having my storage boxes filled with blank canvases again – only these ones would be properly primed.

Time to enter into the nitty-gritty of this experiment of mine. It’s time to do some drawing.

Far better to save my storage boxes for other things. Like shoes perhaps.

 

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8 thoughts on “It’s okay Imelda, I understand.

    1. I’m not an authority on this, but doing some extra priming will ensure longevity. So if the kids want their work to become heirlooms, you could consider it! 😉 Wait till I get onto varnishing; then you’ll really have to step up!

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  1. Thanks Fiona – I will follow your journey – looking forward to learn a thing or two. Today I sit in painting trackies looking at my conglomeration of painting stuff pondering how to be creative overwhelmed with what canvas – pad – paint- brush – medium – spatula … To begin with… I have alwaysed used pre primed canvas thinking it was all done for me. Now I’m second guessing!! too much googeling overwhelms as I get too concerned about technique rather than creating – I have a much more slap dash approach to my painting – looking fwd to it becoming a bit more refined through your blog !!

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    1. Yikes! I’ll do my best 😁. I took classes for a while on and off and my teacher never had us worry about priming canvas – probably because it detracts from the whole idea of just getting stuck into things and creating. I suspect it’s not overly necessary (unless you’re intent on having a painting that will outlast your great great grandchildren), but I’m curious to see how the paint goes on. Good to have you along!

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  2. Thank you for educating me on how to prime a canvas! Id always wondered! Can you believe that there is a generation not too far from ours who doesnt understand the reference ” Imelda”? I know, crazy!

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    1. Perhaps once I get through this year’s blogging and painting I will embark upon a blog to educate the next generation in important political stuff like this ;-). Welcome aboard!

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