Canvases vs. Canvas Paper

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The vast number of canvases I have became crystal clear during our most recent move. Ken realized it too, as noted by his statement: “Well babe, you are definitely a prolific artist.” A wonderful compliment but also a reminder of the situation at hand.

What in the world was I doing with all these canvases? Stacks on stacks of canvases I loved and didn’t want to part with. The problem: I didn’t want to hang them up and look at them every day, either.

The Case for Canvases

The thing is, I love painting on stretched canvases. I love how sturdy they feel. I love the way they fit right on my easel, and I also love the feeling of “completeness” they give me. No expensive frame required. Just paint and you are done.

Canvases are also relatively inexpensive at Michaels. I usually wait until they go on sale and then add in the discount on the coupons they always send via email. Bam! A 5-pack of canvases that are $10 or less.

But the storage …oh, the storage. We are lucky enough to live in a house with plenty of storage, but these old canvases are still an issue. They are in hiding throughout the entire house. I am always going into a hall closet, the guest room, and even the art room looking for one thing and finding canvases, stacks and stacks of them.

What was the solution? It turns out that some genius (perhaps lacking in an abundance of space) started making packs of inexpensive canvas paper.

Photo by Trude Jonsson Stangel on Unsplash

The Case for Canvas Paper

Admittedly, I had seen this canvas paper before but hadn’t explored it a lot, until… I began taking an intro to acrylic painting class with Urusla Gullow. Canvas paper was on our supply list. After a brief moment of hesitation, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the experience of using this paper.

Here’s what I love about canvas paper:

  • When I use canvas paper, I feel freer to explore new ideas, play with colors, and let loose. (Look: they even have black canvas paper!)
  • Canvas paper is much easier to scan and given that I am usually painting for future licensing opportunities this is a very big plus.
  • It’s much cheaper, this pack of 10 pages is $28, and as I am currently writing this Michaels has a buy one get one 50% Off promotion, so that makes it even more affordable
  • And last but not least, of course, the storage!

Canvases vs. Canvas Paper

So, which is better: stretched canvases or canvas paper? Well, like most artists I want ALL the art supplies, so I say both are necessary! I’ll always love painting on canvases, and will always keep a few extra on hand, but canvas paper is a cheaper, and more convenient alternative.

And if I ever do want to hang one of my paintings on canvas paper, it’s a great opportunity to use the float mounting from Framebridge. Swoon…I love a good float mounting.

So, what do you think? Stretched canvases or canvas paper? I’d love to hear from you.

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