canvas

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blank canvas

A person or thing that has nothing of substance or permanence within or imprinted upon him, her, or it, such that it can be easily filled with entirely new things. Refers to a painter's canvas that has yet to be painted on. Children's minds are blank canvasses, so we have to be sure to provide them with enriching education and opportunities so as to give them the best possible future. I love moving into a new house and having a blank canvas to make my own! These freshmen are all blank canvasses—we can get them to believe anything we tell them!
See also: blank, canvas

by a canvas

By an extremely short or slim margin (of distance, time, or another measure). The phrase comes from boat racing, as the front end of a racing boat was at one time covered with canvas. They're just about to close the gates! It looks like we made the flight by a canvas. The race was neck and neck till the very end, but Sally won it by a canvas.
See also: by, canvas

under canvas

Under or within a tent. There are dozens of vendors who sell their goods under canvas at our market each Saturday.
See also: canvas

by a canvas

by a small margin.
The tapered front end of a racing boat was formerly covered with canvas to prevent water being taken on board. In this context, to win by a canvas meant to win by the length between the tip of the bow and the first oarsman.
See also: by, canvas

under canvas

1. Nautical With sails spread.
2. In a tent or tents.
See also: canvas
References in periodicals archive ?
Canvases degrade with time due to acidity and environmental conditions.
OBJECT CANVASES I take photos of my own children's studios their rooms.
Painted around 1980s, it's one of the several Mahabharat - inspired canvases that Husain has painted in his long career.
So, with our three-fortwo offer plus the 15% discount which applies to all orders, three 12" x 12" canvases will cost less than pounds 15 each including carriage cost.
He's refined his style since he and Weaver went paws and wheels on those first canvases.
We started with 3- by 5-foot canvases (about $8-$10 each at an art-supply store).
What is absolutely mesmerizing in these paintings is not simply the sheer quantity of the vertical runoffs--as in particularly bloody medieval representations of the Man of Sorrow--but the fact that their gravitational pull does not freeze the gestures, even though in one pair of canvases Twombly lets us know this was a possibility.
We use a Roland printer, which provides great detail and color intensity and vibrancy in the giclee canvases," she said.
Photo: George Condo, above, works on one of his fanciful canvases while John McNaughton films him for ``Condo Painting.
CafePress, the leading source for custom printing, announced today that it acquired Canvas On Demand, an online source for creating personalized custom canvases from users' photographs, and its sister companies, Canvas On Demand Pro, an online service providing professional photographers with canvas printing solutions, and Great Big Canvas, a growing online shop of licensed photos produced on canvas.
Some canvases in the show, such as one covered with pink-and-white star-shaped patches or two works made of dyed burlap, miss their mark and seem to have neither a clear animating impulse nor enough visual allure to distract us from the lack thereof.
Customers will have the opportunity to purchase limited edition canvases hand-signed by Thomas Kinkade or have their canvases enhanced by a Master Highlighter.
Searchin', 1976-77, is one of several works of that time that were painted on flat rectangular canvases but hung diagonally, and by 1978, with works like With and Tug, she was painting on eccentrically shaped canvases, asymmetrical starlike polyhedrons whose own dynamism utterly changed the spatial force field within which her forms were deployed.
Customers will have the opportunity to purchase limited edition canvases, hand-signed by Thomas Kinkade, or have their canvases enhanced by a Master Highlighter.
From a formal perspective, Sasnal's canvases come closest to Tuymans in overall "look" and painterly touch.