The Making of a Canvas Labyrinth

The Making of a Canvas Labyrinth

Like a giant floor cloth our latest adventure in the world of the labyrinth has been to create a portable canvas labyrinth. We sourced the canvas at Gwartzman’s in Toronto, the traditional supplier of artist canvas, and we had it sewn together and hemmed by a tent maker in Ottawa. Then, working in the church basement on top of one of Vanessa’s permanent labyrinths, we started to paint. Laying down thin washes of blues, turquoise and purples we managed to transform the blank canvas into the largest watercolour painting I’m sure I’ll ever make.

The next morning we arrived to find that it had dried very nicely, and in surprising and delightful ways. The next step was to create the pattern. Using a string and a pencil we drew a seven circuit classical labyrinth, but not before making an initial error in measurement that had us do most of the drawing twice. Yikes, that was a lot of extra work and hard on the body!

The last step was to call upon a few generous friends with steady hands to come help paint in the lines. But not before we changed our minds on the colour of the lines. Funny how all the planning we did prepared us for a 180-degree turn, and we choose a dark purple for the lines that we had rejected in earlier trials. It was an interesting experience to say the very least, and that is how the creative process usually plays out, just not exactly as you plan it.

Painting the lines was a kind of contemplative or meditative activity that required some degree of quietness in order to have a steady hand and not make a mistake. It fascinated me that there was little talking as several people worked away for about 6 hours.

The next morning we completed the very last step, which was to fold the canvas and squish it into a carrying bag. Our new labyirnth is in need of a name. Do you have a suggestion?

Now we are mobile and ready to go where we are called. I am making presentations at a couple of conferences this spring where I will be offering to bring the labyrinth along for participants to try. Please get in touch, if you would like to have us visit and offer the labyrinth experience for your group.

4 thoughts on “The Making of a Canvas Labyrinth

    1. We used artists acrylic paint with some medium in it. Acrylic is very plasticy and flexible. So far it still looks good.

      1. Go to an art store and inquire about artists acrylic paint. Be sure to mention you are painting on raw, unprimed canvas if that is the case. Good luck as this is a major undertaking. Best to work with an artist who knows paint.

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