A heavy, woven fabric used for support for artwork, usually oil paintings, and considered desirable by painters because of the regular texture and flexibility. The negative is that canvas can expand or contract by weather circumstances over the years. Usually canvas is sold by rolls and is made of sturdy Belgian linen. Cotton canvas is an inferior substitute. After being cut to size, canvas, in order to be usable for painters, must be stretched over a frame and primed. Many artists buy pre-stretched and pre-primed canvas. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" <br><br>Closely woven cloth used as a support for paintings.<br><br>Commonly used as a support a swatch of canvasfor oil or acrylic painting, canvas is a heavy woven fabric made of flax or cotton. Its surface is typically prepared for painting by priming with a ground. Linen ? made of flax ? is the standard canvas, very strong, sold by the roll and by smaller pieces. A less expensive alternative to linen is heavy cotton duck, though it is less acceptable (some find it unacceptable), cotton being less durable, because it's more prone to absorb dampness, and it's less receptive to grounds and size. For use in painting, a piece of canvas is stretched tightly by stapling or tacking it to a stretcher frame. A painting done on canvas and then cemented to a wall or panel is called marouflage. Canvas board is an inexpensive, commercially prepared cotton canvas which has been primed and glued to cardboard, suitable for students and amateurs who enjoy its portability. Also, a stretched canvas ready for painting, or a painting made on such fabric. Canvas is abbreviated c., and "oil on canvas" is abbreviated o/c.About canvas: "The canvas upon which the artist paints is the spectator's mind." Kakuzo Okakura (1862-1913), Japanese writer. The Book of Tea. "In my experience, anyone can paint if he doesn't have to . . . . During my apprentice days I felt encouraged by the advice of Winston Churchill . . . . 'Don't be afraid of the canvas.' I have now reached the point where the canvas is afraid of me." Beatrice Lillie (1898-1988), British comedienne. Every Other Inch a Lady, 1927. "For sheer excitement you can keep movie premieres and roller-coasters. An empty white canvas waiting to be filled. That's the thing." Pam Brown (1928-), contemporary painter.