Sunday, July 27, 2008

I found some 1" X 2"s left in the rafters of our garage from the previous owners and decided it was time to tackle the painting that had been sitting on my mind for the last two years.

You would think building a canvas would be a simple task. Things are never simple for me. I knew from the onset that the blade to my saw (handsaw mind you) was dull. But this did not deter me as I had set my mind to making this canvas on this night and damn anything that stood in my way. So I sawed away with more patience than this mother of three should have a 8 pm. Nearing the end of the hour of sawing I realized that I had made a mistake, I had reversed the 45 degree angles on one stretcher. So that meant cutting the parallel sides again to make them matching. Add 15 minutes. I then proceed to assemble the pieces. Power tools and L-brackets are wonderful inventions. After screwing everything together, I realized the screws were a fraction of an inch too long for the width of the wood. Off I go to find the rasp that I am quite certain is in one of the four toolboxes in the garage. Feeling satisfied with my completion of the frame after sanding for around twenty minutes, I go in search of my canvas. I searched every nook and cranny of my house to the point of awakening my 1 year old while digging through his closet. But alas, no canvas.

Fast forward to the following day. After laying awake all night fretting over exactly where in this small house I misplaced several yards of cotton duck, I decided I would find that canvas or it would be the end of me. After an hours search I came up with the fabric and set off to begin stretching. It should be noted that getting a taunt canvas is an ordeal in itself but with the help of 3 toddlers it is quite the adventure in patience. After removing my 1 year old for the umpteenth time, I was proud to set back and look at my masterpiece. Being lunchtime and the natives being restless I did not have the chance to make an appropriate inspection.

With nap time looming on the horizon I could barely contain myself at the idea of priming this monstrosity. It is 48"X30". My eldest and I set off to the garage while the other two took to their siestas. After laboriously applying two coats of gesso I stood back to view my work.......

That was when I noticed the perfect hour glass shape to my previous 24 hour labor of love. In my excitement I had forgotten to put a supporting bar in the center to prevent sagging. I was downtrodden and infuriated at the same time. I painstakingly pulled out every staple along one of the stretchers. Thank God I had decided to wait until after I finished the painting to trim the canvas extras. I fortunately had enough wood left over to make a support and knocked it into place. There was just enough canvas left for me to pull it taunt with pliers to staple back into place. I then proceeded to regesso the new area. If I was not a patient woman this project would have long been left behind.

Never object to an artist when they say their creation was a labor of love.

More to come on the saga of the boy and his dog painting.......

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