Gallery Wrapped Canvas

With the exception of my works on paper, I prefer to paint on canvas that is gallery wrapped. A gallery wrapped canvas is simply a canvas that doesn’t have any visible staples or nails holding the canvas to the bars on the sides. Quite often with a gallery-wrap canvas, the edges are painted and the painting hung unframed.

There is no rule when it comes to dealing with the edges of a canvas. It’s a matter of personal preference. I like to continue the painting onto the sides, frequently in as much detail as on the front of the canvas.

Ann Hart Marquis-gallery wrapped canvas

Gallery wrapped canvas, Ann Hart Marquis

Some artists think it’s enough to just paint the edges a single color, or perhaps two. I think that leaving the edges white makes them stand out too much, as does painting them black, unless the painting is dominated by very dark colors.

I like the look of an extended painting. When the sides are part of the painting it adds dimension so that the viewer is seeing part of the painting before facing it.

When I’m painting I try to remember to do the edges at the same time as the initial blocking-in of shapes. The sides then become an important part of the painting. Also, that way I don’t have to be careful when I do it, trying to match paint colors and texture. It’s also a way to use up excess paint on my brush when I’m about to use another color. Then when I’ve finished the painting, I touch up the edges if needed.

Ann Hart Marquis-Endeavor-gallery wrapped canvas

Endeavor, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24 x 1.5 inches, 2010. ©Ann Hart Marquis-

All of my paintings on canvas are gallery wrapped. Are you partial to gallery wrapped canvas or do you prefer a frame?

4 thoughts on “Gallery Wrapped Canvas

  1. Linda

    I agree with all your points with the gallery wrapped canvas. I also paint the edges as I am painting the canvas. I find it also useful to paint the edges if I’ve paused in my painting due to a mind block. This way I keep the flow going while I work through the block.

  2. Karen Conley

    I like the edges to be part of the painting. It seem to add a more pleasing extension to the actual surface of the painting. I really like the paintings you posted as examples Ann, lovely.
    Best, Karen


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