About Us

I started this business in 2006 when I set up Modern Canvas Art. You may not have heard of Modern Canvas Art. It is still going strong and is still very much my "baby". Well, to be honest it is a now a 7 year old baby and I guess there has been laughter and tantrums, good times and bad times along the way.

I have always had what you might call an entrepreneurial side to me. I am not like anything you see on The Apprentice but I have always loved making and selling. In 2006 I was scratching around for something else to do with my life. I knew I wanted to set up an ecommerce website but I just couldn't decide what to get into. My eldest son (who was 7 at the time) was desperate for me to set up a website selling clocks. I think at one point I even agreed to start selling clocks and for a few days I was going to set up a website selling clocks.  My son was very happy. In fact, he was already taking all the credit for a successful business that hadn't even got off the ground.

I can, like many of us, be impulsive. However, some big decisions take some thinking about. With big decisions I tend to sleep on them and then sleep on them some more. If I am just as keen on an idea after a week or so then I know that I am on to something.

And I'm afraid to say clocks it wasn't. They just didn't get me ticking. Instead it was art. And it was obvious.

I was bumbling around on the internet and I saw a fantastic site selling art that I had not seen before. It was just brilliant. Bright coloured pop art, union jacks, red white and blue, mod targets...the lot. I loved it.

I teamed up with the company and I worked with them to sell their collection of artworks. I built my first site quite quickly using a flash-based sitebuilder called "Moonfruit". It was quite easy to set up but very fiddly. Although it was quick to get the site working it took a long time to get it 100% right and just how I wanted it. However, when I got my first sale there was no looking back. Modern Canvas Art was off and running.

The company that I had teamed up with sadly gave it up after a year or so and they went their separate ways, so I decided to go it alone. Well, that's not quite true. My wife has helped me considerably with the business and how she has put up with me over the years I'll never know. Anyway, I digress. I got together a team of artists, partnered up with a print manufacturer and took Modern Canvas Art to stage 2 of its inception.

There was another reason why art was the perfect business go get into. I come from a family of artists. My grandfather, Archibald Edward Webster was a very distinguished artist and during his time (1899-1991) he produced a fantastic collection of landscapes, seascapes and even a few self portraits. Many of these are still in the family. With the passage of time the majority of his paintings are now well over 50 years old.

Two of his paintings are in public collections and are on the BBC website in the "Your Paintings" collection which is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation ( which is a registered charity) and participating collections and museums from around the UK. These are shown below. He was born in Bloomsbury in Central London and lived most of his adult life a few miles away in Islington. Although he was very much a city dweller, he got much of his painting inspiration from the countryside in the home counties, most notably the counties of Sussex and Surrey.

 

 

Woodland Scene, near Guildford
by Archibald Edward Webster
Date painted: 1955
Oil on hardboard, 40.5 x 50.5 cm
Collection: Government Art Collection

 

 

Sussex Landscape
by Archibald Edward Webster
Date painted: 1956
Oil on canvas, 51 x 61 cm
Collection: Government Art Collection

 

In 2001 my father retired and he took up the artist's paintbrush to follow in his own father's footsteps.

It was great that he could start doing this as until he retired he worked tirelessly for a living and got very little spare time to indulge his passion.

It is fair to say though that he has made up for lost time. I've lost count of how many paintings he has completed in the last 10 years but suffice it to say it is "many".  He is an active member of an art club in Fordingbridge, Hampshire and  won an award in 2012 for one of his oil works. Very proud indeed.

Some of his works are on the Fordinbridge Art Club website and one of his finest I would say is this stormy seascape entitled "Message in a Bottle"shown here. More from the gallery can be viewed by going to Fordingbridge Art Club. Unfortunately. my dad is retired so it would be a bit unfair of me to ask him to work for Canvas Art Rocks or Modern Canvas Art, but suffice it to say that artistic expertise and knowledge is always on hand. Me, I just wish I could paint something that even vaguely resembled something as good as this. Fortunately for you, the customer, we have an incredible team of highly skilled and talented artists at our disposal.

 

"Message in a Bottle"
by John Francis Webster
Date painted: 2009
Oil on canvas, 40.5 x 50.5

 

It's safe to say my interest in art has grown as I have got older. When I was a child I couldn't draw very well, although I wished all the time I could. By nature I like to change things and move them around. I like moving furniture, re-arranging rooms, changing light angles, everything. I drive my wife mad. The thing about art is that it changes a space in an instant and every picture changes a mood and give different thoughts to reflect on. Replacing a picture on the wall is like lazy decorating. No scraping, pasting or painting.

In July 2013, Canvas Art Rocks was born.  It was a quiet introduction with not much in the way of fanfare and it is the site that I always wanted to build - entirely with the customer and casual observer in mind. For an art website, I believe, it is important to make the art the focus and I think we have done that. Great designs and images help too - and we've got lots of them with more and more being added all the time.

Thanks for reading and please do have a look around the site!

 

Robin Webster / CANVAS ART ROCKS