Marbling on Canvas

Stone pattern on canvasBefore heading out the to John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS) this summer, I did some light experimenting with marbling on canvas. I say "light" because I was using scrap canvas my neighbor had given me (he owns a company that makes pre-stretched artist canvas). I also say "light" because the paint on the first six canvases I marbled came right off and I just about threw my hands up in the air and never touched the stuff again. But, being the stubborn Scorpio I am, I decided to give it one more go. I adjusted my my alum application, hit the tank again, let the canvas dry before rinsing the carrageenan off, and low and behold it worked! Then at the JCCFS, a couple of the students in class took a stab at marbling on canvas with great success. But it's what they did with the marbled canvas that totally got me hooked on marbling this medium. Back on the experimental marbling day, after having fun with the sheet music, I decided to use up the last of my scrap canvas. And yet again, the results pleasantly surprised me (or maybe by now my ability to differentiate between what is "good" and what isn't has been lost in the ever-grown pile of my "experimental" art). I'm learning that the texture of the canvas impacts the ability to do highly detailed on this day, I stuck to the basics and didn't try anything fancy (like my favorite design, Flame.) The photo above (at the top of this post) is your basic Stone pattern on canvas.

This next photo is a Nonpareil pattern:

Nonpareil pattern on canvasThis one is called Vein. It's similar to the Stone pattern (where paint is applied using a broom straw tool) but the last application is not's Photo-flo which pushes the paint and gives it a concentrated effect.

Vein pattern on canvasAnd, of course, no marbling session (at least in my studio) is complete without undertaking a "contemporary" design:

Modern design on canvasSo...what do I do with all this marbled canvas? Make journals, of course!!

Modern Journal

Vein Journal

Swirl Journal

Stone Journal

These (and many, many more!) will be available at the Peach Tree Gallery Holiday Show on December 3 and 4, 2011.