Well first let me apologise for moaning on again, I really am beginning to sound like some old fuddy duddy, “this is not how things were in my day!”. By means of an explication for this whining let me just say I am genuinely shocked by the quality of canvases being sold today.

As a starving artist naturally I made my own stretched canvases, I was very fortunate to be shown how to do it properly by a tutor David Stubbs (Thank you David), he kindly taught us all about rabbit skin glue size, gesso, mitred joints and the quality of materials and much, much more. I must admit I couldn’t stomach the rabbit skin bit, too smelly for me, and as I wasn’t using oils I felt reasonably safe in choosing not to use it, but I did fully gasp the importance of good materials and properly primed canvases.

I did think though that the superior product was the ready-made canvas, these though were far beyond my empty pocket, so I made my own. Later when I did have some money and very little time ( such are the compromises in life) I did buy ready made and found them quite good, fortunately I got quite a lot and have been lugging the around with me for years now much to my partners agitation.

These are what I have been using recently, I have even bough a few which seem quite decent quality recently, however one pack I bought were just shocking, the stretchers light as balsa, not well finished or even shaped, and as for the canvas, well lets just say I doubt that it is canvas at all. It feels like textured paper, maybe brittle gesso primed muslin?

These stretchers are fine for the children to play with but little else, I could not paint onto them and have any confidence they would survive the painting process let alone for any length of time afterwards, I am certainly going to check that any future purchases are of a acceptable standard, or start and make my own again.

Well that’s it for this weeks moan.

The quality of the readymade canvas
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