Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another little trick I know 2

Here's another little trick and it's a great One! I went to an artist's party in Rockport years ago. I was with a group of  younger artists sitting and listening to Paul Strisik. He described this trick for cutting down a roll of linen. He used a band saw, but I use a chop saw (that's an electric miter saw, Stardust)

I put a pen mark on the roll to mark my cut, and WHACK!

 I chop a roll down so  that I can stretch canvases the same size with virtually no waste. This roll was cut to 27" so that I could stretch 18 by 24s or 24 by 30s. I allow 3" so there is selvage to turn over the stretchers. I open this truncated roll on the floor and place the assembled stretcher on it. Then I draw a line about 3" above the stretcher and cut that much off with a scissors. Easy. No waste either.

 Here is the finished product. Another advantage is that the roll now fits into a suitcase. I throw a few stretchers and a canvas pliers and staple gun in there under my mink, and I am ready to go. When it is time to fly home again I take the paintings off the stretchers, and wrap them back around the roll. Since I use Liquin when I travel, the painting are all dry except for the last days work. I usually give that to whoever put me up on the trip or have a local confederate mail it back to me when it dries.


Robert J. Simone said...

Stape, you must have an old school suitcase if a 27" roll fits in it!

Kevin Beck said...

Now there's another practical working tip that you won't hear in art school.

Stapleton Kearns said...

If you have a small suitcase, chop the canvas to the small side of your stretchers, that is, chop at 21 for and 18" by 24". Maybe you need to travel with a 19" roll and paint 16" by 20"s.If you have one of those old fashioned women's suitcases that are round, you will have to paint tondos.

William R. Moore said...

Strisik also includes this tip on p. 12 of his excellent book "The Art of Landscape Painting", 1980.

In outdoor painting this book ranks up there with Carlson and Gruppe. It has many great tips for painting outdoors. ( En Plein Air )
I purchased a copy in 1980 and on the jacket is a price of $21.95 . A couple of booksellers at Bookfinder.Com list USED copies under $25.00 including shipping. Well worth the price.

Philip Koch said...

Stape, a couple of years back on your blog you were complaining about some of your stretched linen canvases having become too loose and limp after being out at one of your galleries. If I remember right you were thinking of switching over to painting on cotton canvas instead. Did you decide to stay with the linen?

Perhaps you've discovered some secret incantation the old masters used to inspire their stretched linen paintings to stay snug and tightly stretched on their stretcher bars. (Alternately you may be washing the paintings with Moxie- given the drink's supernatural powers, that might just solve the problem).

Sergio Lopez said...

Very clever idea. Nice tip. What would you recommend if one does not own a miter saw?

Stapleton Kearns said...

A hand saw will do, but it has a lot less drama.