Expanding your borders, exceeding your limits

Long ago, as with many novice painters, I was a little intimidated by my canvas.  I plopped my subject down in the middle, and filled in a background.  At the time I was very pleased with my efforts. Now they look like floating heads to me (thirty plus years on…)

© Marion Pennell

© Marion Pennell

© Marion Pennell

© Marion Pennell

As time went on, I started to frame my subjects reaching to the edges of the canvas.  For awhile, I liked painting tiny animals – like a puss-moth caterpillar, or a sea slug from the deep ocean near Norway – on large canvases.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

Then my animals began to spill outside the borders of the canvas.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2002 Marion Pennell

©2002 Marion Pennell

And I went up close with my fascination with their patterns.

Acinonyx jubatus

Acinonyx jubatus

Panthera pardus

Panthera pardus

Panthera onca

Panthera onca

Panthera tigris

Panthera tigris

I find it enjoyable now to use every inch of canvas whichever way I want.  Painting bigger is way more fun than painting small. If you think about it, that’s not a bad metaphor for life.

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