Thursday, March 23, 2006

The commission is finished and it took a little car trip over to see my photographer friend Greg yesterday. He is terrific, makes my work look amazing and I credit him with getting me into shows, the quality of his photography rocks.

Prior to the photo session, the canvas had to be wired. Naturally I called on John for that task. He asked me to help him by stabilizing the canvas while he made the holes. I am sure it was also helpful that I second guessed him every step of the way, from his hardware selection to wire choice. I was playing total control freak as he worked on the piece.

After it was wired I wanted to see how it hung on the wall, just make sure the balance was good. Even though we have done this like a million times before, never with a canvas quite this large. So he put some nails into the wall and we popped it up there. "Popped" being a total exaggeration as we carefully maneuvered it through the maze that is called my studio to find a spot of open wall behind a door. Not ideal but it worked.

And the canvas did not hug the wall as it should. It was actually sort of airborne if you can imagine that. I was initially calm, questioning the hardware again but John pointed out there was no way this was a hardware issue. We were both puzzled until we took it off the wall and realized the center stabilizing bar across the back of the piece was warped. Totally warped as in it bowed out so far it was actually touching the wall which prevented the canvas from snugging up as it should.

I thought I was going to have a stroke. I didn't take a breath for the longest time. Just waited for some divine intervention I suppose. John talked first, said it was really ok, he didn't think it would be a problem as you couldn't tell if you viewed it head-on. Which was true, however that was not the point.

Once I started to breathe my first reaction was one of anger toward Dick Blick. I mean how could they have sold an expensive canvas - the highest quality they make - with a friggin' warped hunk of wood!??!?! It must have certainly come that way as I do not think I caused the warping. I kept this canvas totally dry, no shower time at all. And this was big time warping, not just a little bit. Which made me also angry at myself that I didn't notice it before. How could I have NOT seen this!?!??!

So the anger turned to tears. The hysterical variety where I was heaving and crying, crying and heaving with snot running down my face. Very ugly. But I am just a little bit passionate about my art and this was "my baby" after all. John patiently waited for me to chill.

Once I calmed myself we talked about possible solutions. I finally decided I did not want to keep this bar of wood. I wanted the warped piece totally gone. John said he thought he could remove it and then buy a new piece of higher quality wood and replace it using metal L-shaped brackets. He assured me it would be better and stronger.

He intelligently asked me to leave the room while he was working. I stayed upstairs and did a phone session with my coach. At one point I saw John leave in the truck and I was dying to know what was going on. I tried to do some breathing. I talked to myself and said a prayer. I told God that I had complete faith in John.

Because JOHN IS GOOD. The BEST!!! He fixed it and it is perfect. He was right in that it is better and stronger than before. It hangs beautifully, snug against the wall as it should.

I am feeling a little "spent." The entire experience just wiped me out. I need to get moving on the next project, start creating for Venus Envy. But I am moving through sludge, slowly varnishing, painting canvas sides, busying myself with brainless work. I have faith this too shall pass. It always does.


  1. You need a hug & I'm sending one to you.

  2. Oh, Mary Beth!

    This could have been the disaster from HELL! Thank God for your photographer, John. It all proves that one of the keys to success is surrounding yourself with the right people.

    Never in a million years would I have dreamed of such a thing happening. And all that work on that huge canvas. I am seriously reconsidering my choice of DICK BLICK. Are you going to write to them? Would it do any good? I don't know.... sigh...

    At any rate, I am so thankful the problem was solved, and that your magnificent piece (because it HAS to be so I know it IS) was saved from potential disaster.

    Sending love your way. Now, go take a walk, have a spot 'o tea or a martini (whatever floats your boat) and celebrate.



  3. A big hug to seems to me that neither of us could survive without our "beloved Johns"...aren't we just the luckiest girls alive ????? They always seem to come to our rescue, huh ????

  4. miracles happen everyday....but we have to twist in the wind and not breath first before we allow them to anyway!
    i am so happy it worked out for you,kiddo!

  5. Hurrah for John, and the local lumber yard, and most especially for L-brackets.

    All the good wood in the country is gone across the water to the wars. I hear it's terrible to try to get good construction quality ply any time in the last couple of years or foreseeable future, either. Meaning? I wouldn't blame Blick as much as just what's (not) available in the market.

    Great workarounds are great things.

    Because the alternative... well, it's out there but is it worth the work?

    Love, hugs, and breathing to you both...


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