Hemp is the non-psychoactive cannabis Sativa plant grown in the northern hemisphere. Producing three times more fiber than cotton- hemp's popularity has reemerged in the textile industry because of its ecological sustainability. Using hemp to mass-produce textiles is nothing new. Since ancient times, this versatile plant has been used for creating fabric, clothing, jewelry, ropes, and even canvas. It is speculated that the word "canvas" is derived from the word "cannabis." Hemp canvas is praised for its durability and longevity even when exposed to moisture. Explore five of our favorite ways hemp has been used by artists to create some of the most hempeccable works of art.
Van Gogh Self-Portraits On Hemp Canvas
In 1889, Van Gogh admitted himself to Asylum St. Remy in Southern France, where he painted some of his most famous works. Van Gogh experienced bouts of illness when he could not paint, making him eager to brush up when he recovered. He loved to explore colors and lines, painting scenes of the St. Remy garden, and many self-portraits. His last 43 self-portraits featuring his vibrant red locks and chilling stoic facial expression were all painted on Hemp canvas.
Van Gogh believed his only escape from insanity was art, which he often expressed in his 800 letters to his brother, Theo. In one of these, Van Gogh wrote, "People say, and I am willing to believe it, that it is hard to know yourself. But it is not easy to paint yourself, either. Rembrandt's portraits are more than a view of nature; they are more like a revelation." His constant exploration of his inner and outward led him to struggle with identity, making his self-portraits intensely powerful and haunting. In his asylum self-portraits, Van Gogh depicted himself wearing smocks and holding paintbrushes, communicating the significance of his identity as an artist. Van Gogh's unique style of swirling lines and colors creates wave-like energy that radiates off the hemp canvas.
Colorful Hemp Ceramics
Hemp Ceramics is a form of art used combining clay, hemp, and other materials to create colorful and durable vases, bowls, and cups. The art of Hemp Ceramics is incredibly challenging to master because it contains intricate weaving of tough fibers. This collection of vases made by Kilim & Jajim, using a combination of hemp twine and re-purposed Persian rugs, shows the hemp plant's beauty, strength, and versatility. These beautiful vases are 70 years old and continue to stand strong today! Kilim & Jajim also created gorgeous pillows out of hemp and Persian rug made to match their vases. With hemp-fiber being carbon-negative, its molecular structure is robust and great for building art that lasts!
Modern Artistic Crop Circle
Charlottes Web in McPherson, Kansas, uses hemp as its canvas in a completely different way than you would think! This magnificent art installation carved out of a 76 acre Hemp Field, celebrates hemp's growing industry. This work of art was completed in 2019 as a part of the "Trust the Earth: initiative." This grand piece's mission is to bring awareness to the hemp plant and all of its benefits. Charlotte's Web was commissioned by CBD company Boulder Holdings Inc. in collaboration with Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One agency in New York. This work of art is hugely hempressive, and like hemp itself, has no lasting carbon footprint.
Hemp String Art
Hemp string art's popularity has reemerged on crafting websites like Etsy and Pinterest. Hemp string art is made by weaving pieces of hemp string and anchoring them to a wooden platform. Each hemp string creates a line, much like a brushstroke, coming together to create shapes, scenes, and portraits. This cactus hemp string piece's fine lines and colors reveal hemp's true adaptability. A work of hemp art can be yours without breaking the bank-most pieces sell anywhere from $30-$76 on Etsy. Some artists will even allow you to choose customization on color schemes!
Impressive DURGA Hemp Jacket
Indonesian artist DURGA painted a puppet stage on this hemp jacket, recreating the famous cultural myth, "The Tree Of Life." Each puppet serves to tell a different part of the tale. The first puppet is Kayon, who dances and twirls-spinning magic and life into the other puppets. The demon Kaya, meaning time, is represented by the halo of fire around the puppets. Ironically, the last puppet used is Kayon, once again, who brings the show to a close and enters the puppets to the spirit world. This fashionable work of art displays one of the many ways hemp can be used to express self-expression. This hemp jacket is truly a work of wearable art.