Sunday, April 19, 2009

. . . tried new things

This is one of the paintings that was in the art auction a couple of weeks ago. I took the picture hurriedly and just for documentation purposes so I have had to crop it in order to show it on this blog.

Friday I did a couple of things that I have not done before, and for which I am inordinately proud of myself: (a) I mowed part of the lawn and (b) I stretched a painting. Yeah, I know, no big deal for most people. But I did them and now I know I can. Please don't hate me because I'm such a wimp.

In cleaning out my flower beds, I had raked leaves and garden detritus onto the lawn in piles. I knew it was going to rain and I didn't want to leave the stuff there to kill the grass, so I got out the lawnmower and ran it over the leaves, twice, chopping them up into tiny little pieces and catching them in the bagger attachment, then dumped the stuff back onto the flower beds for mulch and composting. Ecologically correct, as well as economical and easier than raking. It wasn't that I had ever had an objection to mowing, it's just that my husband enjoyed doing yardwork and was very picky about mowing, so I just never had to do it. I can't say it was fun, but it is empowering to know I can do it. Except I couldn't get it started toward the end, and it may be out of gas.

The other thing I did was to stretch a painted canvas. I paint flat on a table, as you may know if you've read this blog for a while. Walter, my art guy, wants them flat for easier transportation and/or shipping. But a gallery on the Plaza wanted to display a piece, and to do that, it had to be stretched. So I bought the stretcher bars, assembled the thing, and put the painting on it. It worked out beautifully. And it can be easily unstretched if needed. So, on my way home from delivering the piece (which I forgot to take a picture of), I stopped and bought four more little stretcher bars and stretched one of the small paintings I have, and it worked out pretty well, too. Again, I'd rather paint than stretch, but I feel like whole new opportunities are now available.


Uta said...

That's given me confidence. I usually buy the canvas already pre stretch but on one of my paintings the stretcher bars are broken and I need to redo it. Wish me luck.

ps pirro said...

I know what you mean about mowing. Not usually a delight for me, either, but very empowering.

I love to read that you're "stretching" -- reaching out for new stuff. Yay, you.

Gina said...

Congratulations on stretching a painting, Mary! That’s something I’ve yet to try. Was it already painted? Do you buy a roll of canvas and cut it down and paint flat? If so, this sounds like the best of both worlds—the advantage of working on a hard surface (similar to paper) combined with the ease of displaying with canvas. I’m happy your creative dry spell is over and you are back at the easel, so to speak.

Elis Cooke said...

great work! plus congrats on stretching your own canvas-- it is a good skill to have I figure for flexibility-- plus sometimes I mess a canvas up so bad the only thing left to do is remove it and reuse the stretcher bars for a new canvas lol!namaste

Mary Buek said...

Uta, look on YouTube, there are some pretty good instructions on stretching a canvas. I do wish you luck.

Hi, PS: My 80-year-old mother mows her own lawn and loves it. I really feel like an idiot. . . What a unique connection, the stretching. I feel like I'm stretching in a pretty safe manner, knowing I have a lot more to do in my personal life and not wanting to do it. Small steps, right?

Gina: That's exactly what I do. I have a mental block about painting on a prestretched canvas, and I don't like the "bounce back" when I use one. I'm not sure the creative dry spell is over, I'm just trying to work through it.

Hi, Elis: I am going to keep practicing this new "skill" until it actually becomes a skill. What a great idea, reusing the stretcher bars.