My First Art Opening

The painting continues...time is moving quickly these days...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making a Canvas

Well, it has been a while since I have posted. This past weekend I got a bee in my bonnet about making a large canvas.
To buy a 4' x 4' canvas would cost me over $100 and I wanted to do it for under $20.
I purchased a 5' x 6' piece of unprimed canvas for $11 at a local art store. The wood stretcher bars that you can buy cost around $15 for each 4' section, which would cost $60 just for the stretcher.
That was too much bread so I went over to the Portland rebuilding center and found some wood trim that makes a nice stretcher edge (I have done this before). The salvaged wood only cost me $6! Nice, but I will need to fabricate the stretcher.

Here is the profile of the wood trim. It has a nice edge that the canvas can stretch over without making too much contact. The trim is also real wood, which makes it lighter and stronger than MDF.
I cut the trim into 4' sections using my chop saw.

I used by biscuit cutter to joint the pieces together. The biscuit cutter is a power tool atht can cut slots into adjoining pieces of wood to allow a wood "biscuit" to fit into each slot, joining the pieces together.

I used glue to hold the pieces together. A metal square is used to true up the frame.
The wood trim that I used has a big cross section and probably would work without braces, but since I had all the equipment out, I figured it would be better to be safe than sorry.
I had some extra wood pieces in my garage that I cut with 45 degree angles and again used the biscuit cutter to join them to the frame. Now I have a solid stretcher frame to stretch the canvas over

The camera makes the frame looked bowed, but it is very true and square.
Then I waited for the glue to dry and stretched the new canvas over the frame.
Then a prime the canvas with three coats of Gesso and I have a big 4' x 4' canvas for less than $20. Ok, so I have all the tools and some extra primer, but I still think that this counts as a money saver. I did spend about three hours making the thing. I did have enough wood to make an extra 2' x 2' stretcher. I should have thought ahead and got one more yard of canvas, but I can get that anywhere for a low price.

Hmm, now I have to find something to paint!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Art on Wheels

This post was meant for another blog, but I made it here by accident. I am too lazy to move it to the correct place, so here it stays.
Since The Art of the Motorcycle was a recent exhibit at the Guggenheim museum in New York, I think it will be safe in my art blog.

This is another passion of mine. I am a motorcycle addict.
I ride a Kymco Super 8 150cc scooter at the moment. I had to sell my Yamaha FZ1 (1000cc, 120 hp, 0 to 60 in 3 seconds) bike because I needed to pay for a summer vacation. I rode my bicycle to work for a year and decided I was going to get killed. I was hit once during that time and other cyclists are not as nice or smart as I hoped.
The scooter is cheap and fun to ride and with no clutch or gears to worry about, a 60 mph top speed and 60-70 mpg fuel economy it is a good thing to have.

So here is my fantasy...some day maybe...before I get too old...

This is a 2003 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 sportbike. It is not to be trifled with or taken for granted. It is fast and light and will make you poop your pants and would be more than happy to kill you. I want one.
One like this was advertised for $4000 in my local Graig's list and it made me drool.
Well, this all depends on who you talk to. Some experienced sport bike riders say that the GSX-R is a pussycat and is an easy bike to ride fast.
Before I get too old, I would like to try one of these machines. I could and probably would ride it to work but I would need to take it to the track to get the true feel of the thing.
I would also invest $1000 in a leather riding suit, boots and gloves. My street helmet should work for track riding. Track day fees are around $200/day.
Motorcycle insurance can be expensive for one of these, but given how little I might be able to pay for one, I may just get basic coverage.
I would like to have a bike like this and a scooter or another bike. Here is a 2005 Honda CBR 1000, which is supposedly even easier to ride and just as fast (there is much debate of performance amongst 1000cc bikes.)

These kinds of sport bikes are called "Liter" bikes because of their one liter displacement.
This Suzuki Bandit 1250 is probably a better choice for someone like me. It is still fast but has a much more comfortable riding position. I could take it to the track as well. Insurance will be less.

This 1999 BMW R110oS is a neat bike. It looks good and is solid, but not even as fast as the Bandit, but it would be nice. It would be an appropriate bike for an architect.
Even this older model would likely cost more than the better performing bikes above.
It is arguably the best looking of the bunch, but these are all works of art in my book.