Summer in Pisticci…..learning new skills….

Well, maybe not skills, as that would seem to imply something clever. But today I made 3 sets of stretchers and covered them all with canvas.

I surprised myself…..really because I can’t  be bothered to draw another scene with little white houses and I had finished my big painting of the calanche…with the cows, by deciding that today I would try to make stretchers. .

It was just to be a practice as I don’t  actually have any of the neccessary  equipment except  for a saw and a thing that helps you cut angles. I have never sawed anything before. It was quite a big saw. My measuring is erratic at best. However the thought of drawing more little houses was worse. So I measured 40cms on the strip of wood and then carefully placed the saw in the 45 angle.  And I sawed. It wasn’t  very easy as the plastic angle thingy kept sliding about on the floor and then the saw would stick for no discernible reason. But I kept going and soon I had a bit of wood with a bit cut off. It was at this point that I decided that I would make a square shape and use the first stretcher as a template for the others. What could go wrong!!!!

The 3d cut didn’t look right which was because I had put the saw in the wrong angle slots. I did manage to fix it. But was glad it was only a practice.

Soonish …I had 4 bits of wood with angles cut at the ends and to my great surprise  ( no kidding!) they all fitted together.  Well, that was easy I thought.

Next I got my passive aggressive stapler out and after putting  3 staples in each corner I had a lightweight stretcher. I should have glued them as well , but don’t  have glue. I was going to plane them too, but my plane is in the post. And the wood I have used is thinner than normal stretchers….and I am not sure I could cut thicker wood. ( need more muscles)

But I did it.

In fact I was so pleased with myself that after lunch I decided to make stretchers for my next exhibition painting which I had painted on an old bit of canvas ages ago, but suits the theme so I needed to mount it on something.

This time I had to do 50x60cms. It changed the shape of the painting as I hadn’t left enough edge to fold over. But I did it and was so pleased with myself that I made a small 30×30 one with the leftovers. 

Then I had to put the canvas on them . The first one, it being a practice one, I used an old bit of slghtly crumpled canvas. The second one I put my painting

on , which was on an old slightly crumpled canvas and the 3d one I used a nice new bit of canvas off a roll.

And strangely ….the 3d one looked best.

After repainting and improving the painting I was a little distressed to see how crumpled it still was. So got on youtube to see what I could do. First amid much bad language I took some staples out and pulled the canvas tighter. It looked worse. Plan b. I boiled some water and got a sponge and wet the back of the canvas and then dried it with a hairdryer. ( should have sprayed it with hot  water but didn’t  have a spray.)

It worked.I was so surprised. I don’t  know that it is permanent but I can always do it again before the exhibition .

I am very impressed with today’s  work….even though it could be better. I did it!!

Now it’s wine time after a satisfactory day’s work. Cheers.🍷🍷

2 small stretched canvases…😀😀
One very stretched painting. The colours are better in real life.
Calanche with some adjustments and cows.

One comment

  1. This is great. A little advice for sawing – when you push hard with a saw it jams in the wood, the tip is to let the saw do the cutting by not trying too hard ; it’s not muscles you need but technique. Concentrate more on keeping it moving smoothly and less on pushing to be quick. Also when sawing make the first movements backwards to start the cut. Hope this helps a bit. Your small canvases look excellent.

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