Paul Gauguin Washerwomen 1888 Museum of Modern Art, NY
For Gauguin, funds were tight and sometimes he used burlap rather than finer canvases. He did a very nice job of adapting to either canvas and made paintings of a lasting impact. The quality of the art materials didn't interfere with his vision. The point here is not that you should use inferior materials, just use what you can and get your vision out to the world by any means possible.
Detail showing the oil applied to the burlap
Jasper Johns Flag 1954 Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, 42 1/4 x 60 5/8 inches
Museum of Modern Art, NY
John's woke up one morning after dreaming about doing a large American flag. Note the 48 stars of 1954. He went out an bought the materials that day. It's not an extravagant surface to work from. Note that the canvas doesn't even cover the edges in some places and it is tacked rather than stapled to wrap it over the plywood. He got the work done and down the road, this work became the most expensive American artwork ever purchased at auction. It's now an icon of contemporary American painting.
detail showing the encaustic and newsprint underneath
I'll be commenting on some other works from my recent trip to NY. The Modern and MOMA now have new photo policies allowing photography as long as you don't use a flash. I've got some great photos and close up to share.
I'll be teaching my oil and pastel workshop on the Strategies for Making Fine Art in Denver, Sat-Sun, July 21-22 Complete info