Monday, July 14, 2008


Edges have always been a challenge. Above is the edge of a wax collage. I now need to "finish" the sides of the canvas in some way. When making the collages I think only of the larger face of the canvas and seem to ignore the edges till the end.

On a few collages I folded papers over the face of the canvas onto the edges but as you see here, they don't cover the entire edge. Not to mention that they only cover two of the sides. Inconsistent.

I am concerned about these edges now, as I stopped by a local crafts gallery. They just opened. The crafts are very professional and almost slick compared to the rough edges of my work. I took an application to participate there, but want to spruce up and finish my wax collages before presenting them for the jury.

Edges are important in painting too. Do you paint the house directly as a rectangle or do you paint it by modulating the form of the nearby house. Well, both of course. So, an endless going back and forth trying to make the shapes work. Colors too. When I change the color of one house then I have to change the colors around it so they stand out. But that isn't an edge I guess.

How about you? What is your experience with edges. Are you aware of the canvas edges as you paint? How do edges work within the paintings or drawings for you. Maybe it is all in your subconscious and you don't think about it. Or do you?

PS Thanks to Marianne, who purchased two of my altered books, I have been inspired to revitalize my Etsy shop. I worked on this for several days, listing items. I posted them on Saturday and Sunday. AND my dear longtime friend S. in the west, already bought four items. WOW. Thank you Marianne and S. You have inspired me to want to make more. Bind more. Create more. Blessings, Suki


Cris in Oregon said...

Suki, Congrats on the sales. That is great. They will have lots of pleasure from looking at your work daily.
Edges....Well I do worry about the sides of my canvas when painting. I make sure that the paint covers enough so they wont show when framed. but then lately I have been thinking of doing the edges or sides in case someone doesnt want to frame them.
When I sewed and made my clothes, long time ago, I used to always do the inside seem edges with zigzagging to keep things from raveling. So I guess I do think of edges automatically.

Annie said...

I do think about edges, but they are a bit easier for me as I make them part of the painting and do a slightly lighter shade of paint around them. Your edges look harder to do. Good luck!

human being said...

wow Suki... i learned much about the edges... now i feel more conscious of them in artworks... a very good post...
and i congratulate you on selling your precious artworks...


Edges. Interesting.
It depends on if the piece is oil or acrylic. Acrylics,no big deal.I either paint the edges as I go,(to match the work)or after the face of the canvas has dried.
With oils, I have to plan it, as it takes so long to dry, and you can't touch it again until it does, of course.
Some of the Gallery Wrapped canvases are not really sharp edged, but rather rounded, so the edges really NEED to be the same color as the work.Sometimes I've forgotten exactly what colors I'd mixed to get the color I've used, and it can take forever to mix, mix,mix,,,, and get it right.
I have learned the power of the
"5 P Principal"
And still sometimes I forget, as I get caught up in what's happening on the face, and I'm kinda zoned out.
Congrats on those Etsy sales,,nothing quite like it, huh?

Anonymous said...

In years gone by I made my own canvases which were up to 4 foot by 5 foot. The sides were deep but since I was stain painting, the sides took care of themselves... the paint just bled around the edges.

Recently I painted on gallery wrapped canvases for the very first time. I really don't like thinking about the edges... plus I have to watch for drips and my finger prints as I turn the painting.

I'm switching back to traditional canvas. I also just discovered pre-made frame kits. They are cut to hold canvas up to 1 inch in depth.

sukipoet said...

Cris, that's interesting. Yes, I guess they wouldnt have to frame the painting if you painted the edges, but is it "done" with the narrow stretchers? I know with the 1 1/2 inch stretchers and thicker I have often seen them unframed in art galleries, but rarely the thin usual thickness (one inch I think) stretchers. Believe me I am really out of it about knowing what is done. but I just notice these things in galleries. Yes sewn edges are maybe where I first noticed "edges." Other people talking about sewing that is as I dont sew.

Annie thanks for responding. Well even when I paint, I forget about the edges a lot of the time till the end and then it is sometimes harder to make them seem part of the painting.

Thanks human being. It is fun to sell something now and again. I guess writers dont have to think much about edges between words, though there is a sort of edge re: where does a paragraph end and the idea too of leaving a double double space between paragraphs to indicate passage of time and/or switch of some sort in the story or poem.

Babs I have to laugh at your saying you forget how you mixed certain colors. OMG I am always doing this. I have probably wasted tons of paint trying to repeat a color. I know more logical minds than mine would probably have color formulas jotted down. Or mix a hug quantity of the colors for any one painting and store them in safe boxes. But I am rather random about such things and just want to get the paint down and have no idea then how to repeat the colors. I hadnt thought about the edges being different for oils vs acrylics. That's interesting. I'll try to notice that as I use both medium too. Or is it media. Most of my oils are painting on 1" thick frames anyway so would have to be placed in a frame and it wouldnt matter

Chewy you offer a lot of food for thought. that's so great you made your own stretchers. My ex used to make mine for me and they were great. What did you do with all those big paintings? Stain paintings? do you know Helen Frankenthaler. I love her paintings.

I agree w/you about not liking to think about the edges and that you don't have to with a traditional thickness of canvas that you are going to frame. I think I was just trying to be "contemporary" with my wax collages and also avoid the framing dilemma. But these kits sound good. Where did you find them? In a regular art catalogue or frame catalogue? Or store?

My ex who has one of my wax collages said he liked the edge there which is just plain canvas with wax drips. maybe I'm overthinking all this. I don't know. Anyway thanks for your insights.

Mim said...

I haven't conquered the middle's yet, let alone the edges! I love this houses painting, it's so beautiful...etsy????

blue sky dreaming said...

Suki, My canvas paintings have about an 1"1/2 edge that I paint black acrylic, either gloss or matt. If there are drips, I use joint compound and make a light texture and in that way blend the drips...then paint black. I've done it a few times and I think it's a good choice.
Mary Ann

Lynn said...

Good for you on your recent sales Suki of your wonderful work. Yes, create more and more will follow I am sure.

and nice that you are going to take more work into the gallery for judging...this is such fun, exciting to me... I am taking my 1940's American's Greatest Generation art quilt to our art gallery tomorrow. It will be in the upcoming members show. No judging...but I'll be listening, watching when I go to the reception on Saturday night for reactions to it.

Edges...In art quilts it can be neatly bound like my latest Night Owl piece, or roughly cut and top sewn like the mat I made for memorializing Jim or Forever Youngs' art quilt... I get lots of freedom to chose my way.

I like seeing you make your choices and decisions and like how these houses are coming together.

sukipoet said...

Mim, thanks re: house painting. This is just a segment of a larger painting. I do like this segment. Probably better than the larger painting. That often seems to happen. Does Etsy? mean you don't know what it is? It is a sort of Ebay for crafters, easy to join and set up a "shop." Then people can buy stuff fairly easily using Paypal or credit cards.

Blue Sky Dreaming, that's something I've never heard of. Maybe you invented it. IE using joint compound to blend the drips. I guess always painting your edges black becomes a sort of "signature" for your work. Thanks for your ideas and solutions.

Hi Lynn. Yes, you have lots of options for edges I guess, because you are open enough to take them. I too can leave my edges what I think of as "rough." I guess I'm just nervous about applying to a craft place and want things "proper." Whatever that means. Just for myself I also do either tidy edges sometimes, though rarely, and rough edges most often. thanks for your kind words re: sales. And good wishes re; craft gallery.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Good luck with your reopened etsy-shop :-)

Cestandrea said...

Suki, so glad for you for the sales! This is sure very motivation, your shop looks so colourful and beautiful!
And the edges are so interesting:) when I work with paint, I generally paint the edges at the same time, even if there are many layers, so that it is part of the whole thing, but I guess it can be interesting to work on the edges afterwards, too!

marianne said...

You're welcome Suki!
I took a look in your shop again and again I was fascinated by the book............. but I shouldn't be too greedy and give others a change as well to enjoy the endless beauty of your creation.
The Japanese sidebound book is wonderful as well :)
Edges......... My first mandala was a problem as it had no bounderies and the canvas was too small for me. I have found a way to deal with the edge in my mandalas. In other things I still have to learn that.

sukipoet said...

thanks for your good wishes Britt-arnhild.

Andrea, to paint the edges whilst painting the face of the canvas and making it all a whole would be the most sensible thing. It's just when I used to paint I did it on one inch canvases that I intended to at least strip frame so I didnt worry about the edges. This is just becoming clear to me really as I write. Now using the 1 1/2 inch canvas edges become more important.

thanks for your kind words about my shop things. I need to bind some more books actually as most of these I bound awhile ago. Although the altered book that is left I did in the past 6 months. Or less. Be well, Suki

Anonymous said...

I came across the canvas frames at Michael's Craft Store. I haven't checked A.C. Moore, another store that has art & craft things. I don't know if these stores are near to you. They are in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The frames are wooden, sold in pairs. Standard sizes by the inch. Colors are black and a brown stained wood finish, maybe also in silver.

sukipoet said...

Chewy thanks. We have a Michael's so I'll check it out.