I'm getting to the point where stretching large canvases is becoming an annoyance. I'm talking about anything 48" x 72" and larger. I like some of the preparatory processes of art; tearing paper for prints, preparing plates or stones for printing, putting stretcher bars together and stretching canvas, etc... I like maintaining some connection to the tradition of preparing materials for painting, to a degree; you won't find me attempting to grind my own colors as I barely have time to actully paint sometimes.
I really like stretching canvas. I like having that period of time to get acquainted with the surface I'll be painting on soon. I like the time to think about what I'm going to do on it. It gives me another chance to put my hand in the work-to feel like there's even more of myself in the work besides the layers of paint and marks, etc... on the canvas's surface that will make up the final image. That said, I've determined that I have a limited ability to keep a canvas's corners straight above a certain size. It's so tedious sometimes, trying to make sure that each corner is square during the stretching process. I wind up checking and re-checking corners over and over because I'm so fucking paranoid about the corners and sides not being square once I've spent so many hours preparing a bunch of canvases.
I've gotten used to spotting irregularities in the shape of my canvases over the years. There's really nothing more aggravating than having to re-stretch a canvas I'd just spent nearly an hour or sometimes more stretching one canvas, a large one, anyway.
I hate the pre-stretched canvases sold in Utrecht and Pearl, so I think I’m going to order a couple of large, pre-made stretcher frames from
French Canvas I’ve heard good thinga about their products, so I’ll probably give them a try.