What happens to a painting that doesn’t find a home, or gets left behind by a student who has gone off to art school? Some local artists, notably Bart Vargas, scour the city in search of these discarded canvases to up-cycle them into new artwork. If you have ever rolled into an art store to purchase a 4’ x 4’ canvas, I am sure your jaw has dropped at the price. In fact, the price of a good canvas is at the upper end of my personal budget for buying a piece of artwork! So how does an artist afford to buy a canvas and still manage to price a completed artwork within the reach of modest paycheck-to-paycheck art lovers?
Most artists are extremely resourceful. The Studio is no exception. We paint and repaint over canvases, flip them on the stretcher, or re-stretch them time and again. Our students sell a lot of artwork at their exhibition, which is awesome. Like all artists however, there is a lot of clutter on the cutting room floor of our art studio. In fact, failure is a core-value in the studio’s culture of taking big creative risks. Mentor Matthew Jones (our resident Oscar Wilde) quotably says, ‘ the only way to increase your rate of success is to double your rate of failure.’
It’s hard to let a lovely paint go sometime. The result is that paintings are often much like a river-cut canyon, with layers and layers of process leading the way through the winding and lovely landscape.