Painting on Canvas Paper

So as it turns out, one of my great grandmothers got pretty into painting at some point in her life. My grandpa ended up with a bunch of her leftover supplies and he gave them to me. Some of the supplies weren’t super useful because they were so old, but some were pretty awesome.

Like the canvas paper he gave me. Canvas. Paper.

It was a new and completely foreign concept to me when I opened the pad and saw the description. I could use any type of paint on this paper. No expensive canvas. No big easel necessary. Just an 18″ x 24″ piece of paper and some paint.

While it was awesome, I didn’t have any big plans for the paper at first. There weren’t that many pages left, and while it was suitable for all types of paint, I primarily use the thick oil paints. Not sure what those paints would do to the paper, I left it alone for a while.

My Inspiration

But then at the end of one day, after painting some canvas or other, I needed to clean my brushes.

Not sure if you know this, but cleaning oil paint off of paint brushes is one of the worst things. Oil paint is oil based so water doesn’t do anything and even with soap or oil thinner or some other substance it still takes forever to clean because so much paint gets stuck between the bristles.

That day, I got lazy (or ingenious) and instead of sitting at a sink for 20+ minutes to clean my brush I decided to get as much of the paint off the brush as possible before going to the sink. I pulled out that pad of canvas paper, whetted my brush with a whole lot of turpentine, and went to town.

After a few minutes the brush was relatively clean and the canvas paper was partially covered in a thin layer of paint.

Over time, I started emptying all of my brushes onto that same piece of canvas paper until one day I realized it was becoming its own actual painting. With a few extra, planned, brushstrokes I created something pretty interesting.

oil painting on canvas paper
Pink Beach, oil on canvas paper

Even though it was just made from leftover paint, I was very happy with Pink Beach. I hung it up in my dorm room for the rest of the year. It was a good reminder that some pretty great things can come out of some pretty weird circumstances.


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