When I paint on canvas, I paint four out of five sides of that thing. Two related reasons:
1) So that it doesn’t need to be framed. With attention to the sides, it has an extra level of finish that leaves the painting looking complete from every angle. Some people will tape the sides prior to painting to then reveal the clean canvas beneath; others will paint them black or another color. I think that continuing the picture around the sides gives it more dimension, plus it’s a little surprise. Plus, plus, it’s awkward for me to stop painting on an edge. Like, I wouldn’t frost just the top of a cake.
2) In case it does get framed—with trendy floater frames. The edges of the frame don’t touch the sides of the canvas, so you can see them even if there’s just a slight space between canvas and frame. I think it’s still necessary to pay attention to the other four sides of the canvas.
Bottom line: Framing is expensive, and people want more frosting.
Later is what?
After settling into various desk jobs, I always said I'd get back to painting later in life, and later is now. Again means that I tried once before. I decided to write about my painting endeavor, too, as a learning tool, an accountability tool, and to stay sharp in case I have to go back to a desk job. Again.
I love periodicals, and if I weren't trying to devote more time to painting I'd mail paper copies. Sign up here, and I'll conveniently send it (blog posts, sales, and new work) by e-mail instead.