Wednesday, October 10, 2007

3DSSC (Three Dimensional Shaped Stretched Canvas) Paintings

For artist Jay Rolfe, creating 3DSSC paintings is an involved process. I start by imagining the finished product, which will be not only in 3-D, but also in the shape of an iconic cultural symbol. Then I sketch it and consider the technical issues. I've spent as much as 2 years repeatedly sketching and working out the technical details before starting work on a painting. Then I decide on the size and the major dimensions, including the depth of the painting.

I figure out a way to stretch canvas in the shape I want, and then I design an appropriate stretcher framework to hold the canvas. The stretcher framework has to be strong yet lightweight, with significant 3-D depth, and in a recognizable shape. I decide on the dimensions of every piece of the framework, then measure and cut the wood pieces. Then I build the 3-D stretcher framework.

Now it's time for the canvas. I measure and cut the canvas to fit the stretcher framework, then stretch it over the framework and staple it securely on the back. I often install the hardware for hanging the painting at this time, since the back is exposed. Then I turn it around and paint the front and sides of the 3DSSC painting. It typically takes 3 to 5 layers of paint to get the effect I want.

Some paintings have more than one stretcher framework with canvas. There are different reasons for this, but it can be as simple as being too big to get through a door in one piece, such as an 8 foot circular disk like my Peace Symbol. In these cases, the final step is bolting the canvases together. Then I hang the finished 3DSSC painting on the wall and get a photo for my archives, website, and promotional purposes.

That's the latest step of artist Jay Rolfe on his Journey From Starving Artist To 21st Century Picasso. You may view some of Jay Rolfe's unique artistic idea, his 3-D Shaped Stretched Canvas paintings, on his website at

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