Home > Artist Tips, Chicago, Uncategorized > Make a Huge Painting Simplified

Make a Huge Painting Simplified

July 20, 2010

7 am Sunday Morning by Kerry James Marshall, acrylics on canvas

Very large pre-stretched canvases cost a lot.  A friend of mine would like to take a crack at doing a very big painting, but the cost of a canvas is a barrier.  Some painters have the carpentry skills to build larger, sturdy frames and stretch their own canvas, but that requires saws and other tools.

Kerry James Marshall found a way around this with his painting “7 am Sunday Morning” which is a huge wall-sized work on a canvas tarp.  I would say it is in the range of being 10’ x 20’, but Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago did not have the size in the description of the painting on their website.  (I swear, entities are trying to prevent copies from being made.)  I saw this painting in person and it is so wonderful, it could be painted on anything.  It took me a while to realize it was on a tarp.  You can see the grommets around the edges in the image.

You would just need to gesso the cotton duck tarp, or maybe apply a house wall primer with a roller brush if you are really strapped for cash.  It would help if you could lay it on the floor or stretch the tarp on a board or wall to paint it.  The MCA had this painting hung on the wall by nails through the grommets, stretching it out against the wall.  Maybe you could trash pick a discarded door or table top and duct tape the edges of a piece of canvas to that surface to paint it and stretch it later.  For me, the sewn edges and the accessibility of the tarp stood out as a great idea.

%d bloggers like this: