I am so thankful to finally have some amazing new stretchers! For those of you painters out there, you know what I'm talking about, but for those of you who are picturing something a medic would use, I'll explain.
I recently commissioned a good friend from work, who has amazing carpentry skills, to build me some new stretchers on which I may stretch my canvas.
I must then staple evenly the canvas on all four sides till it is about as tight as a dull drum, gesso (prime), sand, gesso again, sand and then I will have a beautiful and custom made surface on which to begin painting. It is a long and tedious process and I now have 20 bare stretchers waiting to be wrapped gallery style (meaning the canvas gets stapled on the back side of the wooden stretcher).
This is a necessary part of the process for me to make my art. Even though it seems a lot like construction, it is actually one of my favorite parts of the art creation process. I am going to get a little fluffy here, but it does make me feel more connected to the surface I am working on to know that I had a part in its creation. To get things the way you want them to be, a lot of artists build themselves or commission others to build for them canvas stretchers and other surfaces on which to work. Sometimes you can say to yourself for years,
"If only I had some canvas to work on, then I would paint" or
"If I had a better guitar, then I would practice"
Stuff like this can really block you in your creation process. I am definitely guilty of allowing this kind of thought process to hold me up in the past. That is why I am so excited about having so much canvas to stretch and surface to work. The next key part is buckling down and doing it and then not leaving all of those pretty, clean, white canvases in my studio staring at me unworked. So, here I am, in this phase of the process, hoping to continue moving forward into a new body of work.
Whatever your step may be, take it... you can only take one at a time (at least that is what I tell myself so that I keep going).
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