November 20, 2021

Recently I’ve been thinking that I’m not sure about sharing many more quick sketches as this one CA girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the Descanso Gardens to sketch, but I’m not sure what I create then needs to be shared. Of course I was at the Descanso last Sunday and I came across this village of stained glass houses in the rose garden. And of course I am sharing it now! It’s part of their Enchanted Forest of Light holiday event. (So, imagine what a half dozen stained glass houses will look at night.) Actually, for their 2019 Enchanted Forest of Light they had one of the stained glass houses in a pond (See December 7, 2019). I plan to continue sketching with my urban sketching buddies and of course I will continue to sketch on my own. But I feel a change in the art wind for me and I’m gearing up to paint on canvas again. Or maybe I’ll think about painting on birch panels.

Here are the materials I need for stretching a canvas—rubber mallet, staple gun, notched precut bars of wood and of course pre-gessoed canvas. What you see here will allow me to create a couple 24 by 30 inch canvases. As I once again take inventory of these materials I am thinking about early 20th century painters. They didn’t have the luxury of anything you see here. They would have had to cut strips of wood to whatever length they wanted, mitered the corners, cut the canvas (leaving room on each side to fold over the wood) and nailed everything together. Oh, and they would have had to paint on a coat of gesso after construction. I’ve stretched canvases where I have done all those things too. It is daunting to cut word with 45 degree mitered corners and I have never been able to drive nails into wood without bending at least 1/3 of them as they went in. I will say this, it is easier to stretch a piece of canvas that has not been pre-painted with gesso. Without that layer of painted on material the fabric is much softer and more malleable, and much easier to manipulate. But I will put up with the prepared canvas as wet gesso really stinks. And I will have enough to think about when trying to keep my studio ventilated once I start layering the oil paint.

I just finished putting the frames together and cutting out the canvas, but didn’t get past that point. I got my COVID booster shot this morning and my arm is kind sore right now. So, I’m done for the day. But I plan to share again when there really is something there to share. 

Bye bye for now.

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