A couple of weeks ago we bought a small saw and boards. Now I’m making my own stretcher bars. I already had unprimed canvas that I had bought in the States. So I get my exercise sawing the boards into lengths of 20″, 25″, 30″ and 36″. Sometimes I saw an odd length too, if it fits into my painting plans. I don’t know how long this will last since my plastic miter box is getting cut into. It doesn’t seem meant for this type of saw. And then I can only do it once every few days since my wrist tires out and starts to ache. Oh well. There is a real sense of satisfaction when I staple the pieces together and they fit. Dave helps me nail the quarter-rounds to the 1x2s. I actually nailed some the other day without bending the nails! Then there is cutting and stretching the canvas. Now that is a challenge. They say you need to get the canvas drum tight. I might get it really tight, but then it somehow loosens on its own after a day or two. Maybe the humidity affects it somehow. Prepping the canvas with gesso is fun! I love slopping on the white gesso (a type of acrylic paint) and smoothing it out. It is freeing to paint that way, without all of the stress of getting it right.
After about three coats of the gesso, the canvas is ready. It is exciting! There are so many possibilities in store for that blank canvas. I can hardly wait to fill it with color!
I’m going to go now and stretch a couple of canvases!!