September 04, 2007

Copper Tacks...

First, re: my last post about John Scott, the NY Times mentions his passing. Very nice article.

Been doing a lot of stretching of canvases lately... it's a great way to get things straight in my head while actually accomplishing something. You didn't have to be very astute to guess that I was lolling around in funk city for the last week or so... just plain tired after being on 'speed' through August and taking longer than usual to get back on track. But I'm good now... all is well, occasional rain has not only cooled us off a bit but might be just in time to stop the mass dying of so many of our beautiful trees. I guess we'll know for sure next spring but for now the grass is green and everything looks positively thankful for our occasional afternoon showers. The heat and drought was no doubt adding to my pity party.

So... where was I?

If there's one place I won't cut corners it's on the backs of my canvases. I'm talking about staples vs tacks... copper tacks, that is. I've had my turn with staples and maybe I just wasn't coordinated enough to get the hang of it. Just getting the durned staple gun to work consistently was enough of a problem and I invested in a number of them. When I switched to tacks hate and frustration turned to the pleasure of rhythm and purpose, a place where you can put your mind on the back burner and let the hands take over. Then I discovered copper tacks (before the price of copper went through the roof!) and a true love affair was born. They are my professional jewelry, my bling. You'll notice I also turn under the raw edges... my backside looks fine, I want you to know!

Don't know if you remember the series of paintings from the late 70's by Avigdor Arikha that featured the backs of stretched canvases... they were quite wonderful and I often think of them as I hammer away. This is the only image Google can find of those particular paintings and it's on an out of print book cover. Seems the web is more about the here and now than the tracks we leave.

1 comment:

Martha Marshall said...

Beautiful canvas, Karen. I love the tacks. You make me almost want to try it.

I'm so glad the rain started. When we were up in the NW corner of the state, entire cornfields were browned out even before the corn matured.

I was so close to you, but yet so far. We were flying through there to make Tuscaloosa and then Florence by suppertime.