My Process – 4

Paintings and collage on hemp fabric painting supports.

Painting conservation work showed that in 1820 90% of select European masters painted on hemp supports. The rag from hemp clothing and textiles went to paper production. By 1880 75-90 % of all European art papers were made of hemp. This percentage of hemp as a feedstock is higher in places where cotton and slavery had not taken off.

After cleaning and mitre cutting to length, then chamfering the strainer bars, they are glued and stapled ready to receive the canvas. In this case the canvas is offcuts from larger paintings. It might be of interest that the word canvas is derived from cannabis. Before the introduction of the cotton gin, hemp was once the feedstock of woven cloth for sails and sheets and all manner of fabric and fibre products.

Stretching canvas (primed offcut) on strainer support.

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