This series, called American Canvas, began in 2002. It is a sequence of canvas-less "paintings" that are comprised of discarded maps, law book and hymnal pages, stuck to dried latex house paint. These form the ground on which paint and pencil and other various markings are applied. Rusty wire often acts as a metaphor for drawn gestural markings. The box format recalls the curio cabinet or trophy case, as all matter and material are potential treasures. Just what incites anyone and why is more mysterious to me than all of myth and faith. My main interest in these accouterments is the beatification of decay and the glorification of the mundane. These are sewn into and onto the "canvas" or wired or woven or fastened with nuts and bolts or stapled or glued. Rusty wire, pencil lines, a splatter of paint, the ring from a cup of spilled coffee, a cigarette burn, a shard of splintered glass, a tear. What otherwise might be dismissed or discarded, I incorporate.

—Mary Snyder Behrens
American Canvas Series
© by Mary Snyder Behrens For close-up views
of details, click on 
single works American Canvas II (2002). Mixed media on board. 48h x 30w x 4d.
American Canvas III (2002). Mixed media on board. 48h x 30w x 4d.
American Canvas IV (2002). Mixed media on board. 48h x 30w x 4d.
In addition to these three large works, also included in this series are smaller, box-like pieces (below). Click here for more information on those.AmericanCanvas2.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
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Smokes Series