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Aug_19 The Shape and Size of a Canvas - Part 1

People expect to be impacted by the size and shape of a person they meet. It’s true that there are other qualities that impact the connection like the general warmth or energy emanating from the person, but at first glance, we can’t help but make assumptions about the person based simply on these two qualities before we even interact with them.

Something similar is at work with a blank canvas. The canvas has infinite potential to become a creative expression. The actual shape and dimensions of that blank canvas have an influence. Here are some explorations of three specific shapes and what they evoke from me as an artist.

The long narrow canvas lends itself to a vertical energy (rising up or falling down) as in these canvases . . .

The Wizard


Bursting Forth


Falling Into Place

The wide thin canvas lends itself to landscape style or horizontal movement.

Rolling Hills

Everything is Possible

When Spirits Collide

The square shape offers different challenges. In itself, it is a very stable force and the painter must work with that stability since that’s what’s called for.


Golden Sunrises

Mother of Pearl

Moonlight Serenade

As I look at any blank canvas, I let myself feel the energy offered by the shape of the canvas. Then, the elements of colour, texture, shape etc. are added to create the final painting. But the starting point is always the same and it always plays its part in the creation . . . not to be underestimated!

Next month’s blog will explore more canvas shapes.

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