March 28, 2012

Back in the saddle

What a start to the day. I'm slaving away doing catch up. While I was under my rock things began to pile up. I've got all sorts of exciting new opportunities and developments on the horizon.  Back to the subjects of quality and integrity.... if you are going to do something you might as well do it right and as best as you can the first time.

I am part of a show at the house gallery titled versus. 
here's the rundown: basically 2 artists share a canvas and create two characters in conflict. I've partnered up with Ray Kruger my room mate, making it extremely convenient)
The canvas was dropped off to us. Unfortunately it needed a lot of work to be adequate for us to spend hours painting on. It had a very rough surface, with a few coats of gesso sprayed on it. I could sand it down and apply some more coats to make a better ground on which to paint.
There were some tears in the canvas, it appeared to have been stretched in a rush. Small staples had been used so I began to weight the option of pulling every single one out, repainting the canvas and restricting the canvas over the frame again. but there there was the frame......
Here was the clincher in this adventure for me. The canvas had been stretched over a frame without a beveled edge. This means the canvas was loose and had an edge all the way around in contact with the support material. Basically, it had become glued to the lumber all the way around. This does not fair well for quality or longevity. It need a beveled edge before we can do anything.
I had to painstakingly remove each and every staple to remove the canvas so that I can give the softwood lumber frame to Ray so he can use a router a bevel on it. I do have concerns abut the frame. Softwood is not the most ideal lumber for building stretcher frames, it tends to warp, especially if it is cut from cheap stock like 2x4 or if there are changes in humidity and temperature. what might be good for inexpensive furniture is not for fine art. Plywood laminates are much better choice if cost is an issue. Mainly because of the criss crossing grain pattern offers strength and stability. I got all the staples out and the canvas off the frame so I could take it back home for some woodworking.
Ray-zor cut the bevel and I took the frame back to the studio. I decided to use some of my higher quality heavier stock canvas since we had already gone thru this much work repairing the canvas. The original piece was thin and torn and pilled.
This shot shows the beveled edge some staples that were added to further stabilize the corner seams. I noticed the lumber was quite torqued so with proper stretching my fear was that it might pull the canvas apart under the tension. also some of the corners did not line up.
Here is the backside as I get close to folding the corners. The pieces of lumber didn't quite line up so I added more staples of a thicker gauge to hold it together better.
After some time spent, a labor of love........ I get the canvas stretched over the frame. I hammered in any staples that did not go deep enough into the wood and now it is ready for the next stage= priming.
Alongside some canvases I stretched prior, is the canvas with the first oat of gesso applied. I used what I had left in the bucket a purple tinted one. You will notice that it sits in the rear of the photo flat on the ground, not that flat,  the frame still appears to have torqued wood. After another coat or two of gesso dries, I will re-assess whether or not it has settled, or whether it news repair or replacement. My fingers are crossed, I want to get started painting this guy;)

1 comment:

Fay_Moose_Art said...

wow you are super bunny. great work on that canvas :) how many swear words did you use in fixing those pieces of .... wood and material ? :)

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