No Canvas

Bridget Botelho

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Originality can stem from many different ways, shapes and forms. Recently, one of the most popular trends for teenagers and adults alike is painting on surfaces other than the traditional white canvas.

This trend taking over social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and even Tik Tok are typical highschool students painting on objects like metal Hydroflasks and calculator covers. The art has been original, depicted popular memes, album covers, and even a representation of the person the object belongs to.

Likewise, this trend can be seen here in Barnstable High School where vibrant, hand-painted murals created by students line the hallways and students utilize the ability to express themselves through styling their clothes and school materials. One of these artistic students is Senior Hannah Roderick.

Painting on canvases can sometimes get kind of boring, so being able to paint on stuff that you can actually use, like a tire cover, and actually wear, like jeans and shoes, makes it seem like the time was well spent, and you can admire your work easily,” said Roderick.

While some kids might paint their clothing or shoes to stand out, Roderick also made the decision to paint the tire-cover cover from her Jeep. She chose to paint a Japanese painting called “The Great Wave.”

“I decided I wanted a cover for my tire, because my Jeep is black and it was not easy at all for my friends to tell it was me. I began looking up some covers, but none of them really caught my eye, and what if other people had the same one?” said Roderick. “Then I realized that if I painted one, no one would have the same one as me and I’d be really easily recognizable,”

However, non-canvas painting isn’t as superior to a traditional canvas. In fact, some of the disadvantages of getting creative with your surface, can actually cause your art to not turn out the way you had imagined it. Senior Emily Swift, an avid art enthusiast explains some of her difficulties on both surfaces.

“It’s important to work with materials that communicate the right feeling for what your artwork is trying to portray; canvas seems more high end and fine art to me, while fabric is scrappy DIY, and wood is rustic, solid, and charming,” said Swift. “Paper is pretty neutral but you can get toned and textured papers as well. Materials are just as important as your subject.”

A notable and favorite piece of Swift is her punk vest. Embroidered all around it, are patches hand painted by Swift herself.

“The Baphomet patch was honestly a failure at first; the stencil I tried to use to get clean edges just made a mess and smeared paint outside the lines. But the final effect was more gritty and grunge-y, and in the spirit of punk rock: the uglier the better.” said Swift

No art form is perfect, and there is no single rule telling any artist or human being what is and is not art. There are no rules, no regulations, but simply creativity.

According to Swift, “ ‘Real art’ is not restricted to giant canvases in gilded frames or marble statues that took years of work to carve; art is the doodle in the corner of your math homework, the breakfast you arrange on a plate for your family, the bouquet of flowers you collect in the springtime without really thinking about it. Art is found in every experience you have, and everybody is capable of making art, canvas or no canvas.”