Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Artists Can Claim $1000 At Tax Time

If you:
  • composed a dramatic, musical, or literary work;
  • performed as an actor, dancer, singer, or musician in a dramatic or musical work;
  • performed an artistic activity as a member of a professional artists' association that the Minister of Canadian Heritage has certified; or
  • created a painting, print, etching, drawing, sculpture, or similar work of art. For income tax purposes, it is not an artistic activity when you reproduce these items.
Claim up to $1000 in expenses or 20% of your employment income (e.g. <$5000).
Here is the full link.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Using Polyester As A Support For Oil Painting

"It's Hard Not To Think Of The Bay" (2009)
Oil on Polyester. 30"x18"x2"
This was my first attempt at using polyester fabric as a support for oil painting. It's comparable in price to either good linen or heavy canvas (~$14/metre/96" Roll). Basically, I'm looking for newer better materials which leave me more time for painting and less time for preparing the supports -- which I'm making myself. The age old problem of painting on either linen or canvas with oil is that the oil itself will eventually attack and destroy the support's fibres if it isn't sealed with something to protect it. Although the notion of rabbit skin glue and gesso is romantic with two kids to chase after I don't have the time to fuss with it. Acrylic dispersion gessos are the next best alternative but I've been researching changing the support itself to something that's not affected by the drying oils. Enter polyester. I'm still applying a layer or two of thinned acrylic gesso (to protect it from UV) with a light sanding between and after coats. Stretching is where things become interesting. The big advantage I'm seeing is that the polyester doesn't shrink or expand with humidity. It's very stable compared to natural fibres. I have a pair of canvas/upholsters' stretching pliers which I bought from Utrecht which help me pull the material to the final tautness. Once it's stapled that's it. It stays put, tight as a drum or what you will. I love this stuff. The only drawbacks I've encountered are that I have to cut my dimensions with scissors because it's so strong it doesn't rip on the warp or weft lines like canvas. The other is just stretching carefully to avoid "puckers" on my deep extruded strainers.