Like all budding artists, I've discovered that the internet is full of art classes, information and tutorials. I wanted to make my own canvasses so I went on a search for the same. I watched a video of a young woman who didn't seem to have a work bench, instead she made her frames on the floor of her workshop using a power mitre-saw. Everything she did was on the wooden floor. I did discover one useful tip and that is that (naturally) the material, whether it be cotton or linen, will shrink after it has been primed. So I decided that the best bet was to buy my material unprimed and then prime it after I had fixed it to the frame (bastador in Spanish). I have a local carpenter who makes the wood profiles which I can then chop into whatever size I want without having to wait for a delivery.
As part of my search, I came across painting.about.com . It comprises a very friendly art site administered by an artist/teacher who provides help and advice in addition to organising many different tutorials. I had a browse and decided to submit a painting in response to a "Painting Challenge". There is a selection of photographs and the artist is invited to provide their own version and post it on the site. I uploaded my painting and received a rapid response. So, I followed the advice and did it again and submitted the second version: http://painting.about.com/u/sty/paintingphotoschallenges/painting-photos-challenge5/An-Alternative-Bridge-by-Steve-Meza.htm?r=un2
If you follow my blog and you're interested in art, I can recommend this site. It feels quite intimate which is unusual for the internet. One is used to numbers in millions and yet there were only 12 other versions of this particular photograph and I ended up swapping e-mails with the teacher. Why look further? I'm hooked! I'm sure there are many other similar sites but I'm happy with this one.
Back to canvasses. I went to Barcelona yesterday to buy canvas (ie cotton and linen) from Barna Art and then met a friend and went to the Miró exhibition at the Fundació Miró in Montjuic. This is a superb exhibition (if one like surrealism) and the usual paintings were augmented by many more which were borrowed from galleries around the world. Previously it had been in London at Tate Modern and it was due to move to Washington, USA in May. Aren't I lucky, living so close to Barcelona!
I really liked Miró's early work but I found videos of him burning canvases and daubing paint on the side of buildings in later life rather sad. I bought a book of his pictures and the story of his life (in Catalan) so I will have to swot up on my non-existent Catalan. It was only €8 so I couldn't resist it.