BEYOND THE CANVAS
by Bren Bataclan Bren
From the first time I exhibited my cartoon inspired acrylic paintings, I’ve been asked, “When are you going to merchandise? You know, have shirts and stuff.” I respond and say later or maybe some day. It is not that I am opposed to turning my beloved creatures to toys or clothing items.... It is just that I am not quite ready yet. Right now, I am happy painting my characters on canvases. However, lately, I’ve been having the urge to branch off and go beyond the canvas and paint on actual objects.
The first things I painted were the bowling ball and bowling pin set I received three years ago for my birthday. I love the set but I just didn’t know quite what to do with them. Obviously, I could not actually bowl in my studio. Plus, the ball just kept rolling around the floor. And so I decided to experiment and see how my characters would look on rounded surfaces.
I really liked how the bowling set turned out and so I began to look for the next object to test with. There was a paint-splattered chair in my studio that looked like a Jackson Pollack victim. This poor chair has been used for every conceivable paint-related chore (I sat and painted on it, used it as a stepping stool with my paint covered shoes, etc.). It was screaming for a make over. Three characters where then painted on the chair.
At this point, I couldn’t stop. I ventured to our basement and got a breakfast tray and a really old Apple computer that I found in our neighborhood a few years ago. Word got out that I had begun to paint random objects and people began to give me stuff to paint on (a grammar school desk and rocking horse).
Frankly, I don’t know if these objects are actually usable. Acrylic paint is sturdy but I wouldn’t necessarily eat breakfast off of them (this is in reference to the tray). As of now, I would treat them as works of art, like my canvases. Or see them as works in progress (the grammar school desk really needs to be re-done).