USCs – Uniquely Structured Canvases
Almost from the time I started painting the question arose:
“Why are all canvases flat?”.
I suppose there are many logical answers. They are easy to make. They are economical to make. They are easy to store. They are easy to transport. They are easy for art teachers to maintain some control and conformity over their output; and they are a logical extension of the art student’s education, even as they mature. It’s always been done that way you see. Flat canvases are a comfort zone.
In reality it all started for me with a “2020 lockdown doodle”. I played around with some shapes. Wondered what images would be appropriate to those shapes and changed my mind a hundred times. I was fortunate to find someone in my small home town, the picturesque hamlet of Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, South Africa, who was willing to step out of their own comfort zone. I am most grateful to Frameworks for walking the walk with me.
“The Scariest moment is just before you start”
I must admit to not knowing what I was doing or really where I was going when I painted my first USC. However, by the fourth I was intoxicated and I knew I would never go back. That I had a huge world to explore. That I had found my happy place as an artist.
It’s not quite as simple as taking a curved canvas and painting your favourite sunset on it. To me the image must appropriately challenge the curves and vice versa. Half the fun is trying to work that gestalt out. The other half is making it happen. However, I speak from a landscape/wildlife lovers’ point of view. I can’t wait to see what abstract impressionists could do with the concept.
Obviously my paintings cannot be framed in a conventional manner. I chose leather to edge most of them. Leather has the texture and smell I love. It is relatively easy to work with and cleaning it is very pragmatic.
All my leather is vegetable cured and hand chosen from training materials at The National Tanning Training Institute, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Please note that in the general interests of conservation, the leather, comes to me “as is”. It has bumps, blemishes and even small holes.
Don’t expect master leather craftmanship, it’s art with a purpose!