Monday, September 23, 2019

Reach (the painting)

each panel measures 8 x 24 inches with a depth of 6 inches
acrylic paints on triangular two sided gallery wrapped canvas

This painting, Reach started out in response to or  maybe sympathy for Frank's recent carving of the same name....shown here in this blog post: 

When I learned what kind of subject he had in mind to portray the title of Reach, I remembered some old photos I had taken, of some kids climbing on a homemade climb wall, at a long forgotten fair. I dug them out and in the process of reviewing them for Frank.....I got interested myselves. I dug thru my canvas stash and found a unusual triangular shaped gallery wrapped canvas. I had bought it …... then couldn't figure out just what would work on a two sided canvas.

I worked up a couple of sketches of two of the young boys climbing up the wall. Instead of the crudely painted backdrop painted on the climb wall, I decided to use for reference pics of an actual cliff on the creek. Which I just so happened to have, courtesy of Frank's superior photographs of various creek scenes.
I began by making paper cutouts of various hand holds bolted to the climb wall and my sketches of the two young climbers. I used the cutouts to mask off the details, and began glazing in random....but “rock looking” scrumbles. I used red first, then yellow and finally blue. I followed those glazes with brushes of various other colours.

I let a few layers dry then began to glaze in the lower figure. This boy was a bit behind the other one.....and was a bit hesitant looking down a bit worriedly. He was depending on the secured rope tied to his belt harness.

After getting the first boy glazed in, I went onto the second boy that was close to the top.....and REACHING for the pentacle of the flat tabletop of the rock cliff. His rope is much shorter, and shows a slacking of his weight since he is pulling up on the cliff top. After wrapping up the details of they boys' clothes, I went onto painting the individual handholds. I saved the rock textures for last, emphasizing ing the overhead sunlight ghosting off the creek rock upper surfaces. 

Here are the two sides straight on. I had blast doing a somewhat “off the wall” subject for me!



  1. Wow! What an amazing process Allison. I've never seen a gallery-wrapped triangular canvas before. You picked the perfect subject matter for it. Love it 💌