$$Save Money$$ Make your own stretched canvas frames

As an artist, one always needs to conserve money and resources.

It totally goes without saying that artist canvas is one of the most expensive items you buy. Each piece requires at least one canvas: there is no way around that!

Once you start getting into you 40th and 50th piece, you can really start feeling the pinch!

Here is my quick guide to making your own stretched art canvas frames for a fraction of the cost of buying it at an art supply store.

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Materials

  • Staple gun
  • 12 mm stainless steel staples
  • 8 foot lengths of 2″ x 2″ wood (quantity depends on size of frames you wish to make)
  • Miter saw (or miter box and hand saw)
  • Wood glue

Decide on the side of canvas frame you want to have. Keep in mind that the larger your frame, the more supports you will need; so try a small frame (no larger than 2 feet x 2 feet) for your first time.

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Measuring your wood

Measure the lengths of your required pieces from your 8 foot lengths of wood.

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8 Foot lengths laid on garage floor

Tips
Before you cut your wood, check for significant “bows” or crooked parts.Any inconsistently straight parts will make your frame crooked.

Also avoid cutting where the wood has “knots”. Your saw will have a tougher time cutting through knots in wood.

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Miter Saw cutting at marked and measured point on wood

Cut your wood smoothly and carefully. Always wear goggles, and something to cover your nose and mouth from wood dust.

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Measure twice and cut once! Always mark where you need to cut on your wood with an easily visible pencil or pen.

Clear away any mess and start laying out your structure on the floor or your work area.

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Arrange your structure to align at 90 degree angles on the floor

Lay out your entire structure to ensure that you have measured and cut all proper lengths, and have no missing pieces.

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Align your pieces to meet at 90 degrees

Using wood glue, slather your corners and join them to fit at 90 degrees. The size and thickness of the 2″ x 2″ wood make it easy to have well formed corners, but I recommend confirming the 90 degree angle with a carpenters square.

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Use enough glue! When you put your corners together, glue should squeeze out from all sides.

For this frame, I cut small triangle supports to reinforce the structure and prevent bending. I also used glue to secure these supports at each corner.

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Staple Time! Use lots of 12 mm staples to secure each corner.

Using 12mm stainless steel staples, secure each corner.

There is no set rule of how many staples to use, but since the 12 mm staples are very long and get driven deeply into the wood, I would say that it is safe to use 3- 4 staples for each corner.

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Ready to start drying!

Let your new frame dry from 3-6 hours, however I would recommend letting the glue dry overnight.

Once you have let the frame dry, you can stand it up to save space.

Here are some variations I have made in the past.

Note that these have cotton canvas stretched over and stapled in place. I will post a tutorial on this DIY project soon.

Tips

If you have any staples that didn’t get driven in all the way, simply use a hammer or mallet to drive them all the way in.
For really large frames, remember to put in cross bars, as well as long wood screws to secure pieces longer than 5 feet.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

-S

Ocean Currents..Acrylic Art

Green, Blue, Aqua, Gold leaf abstract painting by Konu
Ocean Currents

One of my fixations of late, has been to capture my impressions of Earth from the viewpoint of someone looking down from space. Hours spent looking at Google Maps has helped with this (of course).

Pictured above is my latest piece: an abstract impression of islands floating in a clear and serene blue sea.

Although it is difficult to see in the photo- there is also some slight relief in this piece. You can see slightly raised lines in the shape of a circle. I enjoyed the use and mixture of colour to create this piece; however, if I could try this again, I would have started it on fresh canvas- sans relief lines.

Thanks for stopping by,

-S

Underwater Volcanic Pressure- Acrylic on Canvas

 

I have been working with themes lately. I find that having a theme in mind keeps a person like me much more on track. As a creative-type, my process can be wandering due to my constant desire to explore, learn, and try new things.

This is my latest work, entitled: “Underwater Volcanic Pressure”

 

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I wanted to capture an imagined view of magma trapped between two giant tectonic plates, by blending blues greens and bright orange with yellow.

The size is a bit small at 12 x 24 inches. If I could go back, I would had made this a bit larger, as I really like the way the orange magma turned out, and I would have liked to see it spread out on a wider canvas.

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Right now I am enjoying using bright orange to contrast with dark blue in my work, so I am very excited to see how this will evolve in my next few pieces.

Thanks for stopping by,

 

-S

Sun in Repose: Acrylic on Canvas

I have always been in awe of the sun. (Not unlike most other creatures on this earth of course.) One of my favourite comics features a short story about a personified celestial being (the sun) falling in love with a woman from the planet he orbited. You can read more about it here.  

I created this acrylic on canvas piece in two parts (diptych). I wanted it to be a three part (triptych), but alas, when creativity strikes you must not wait too long to capture it.

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In order to have a 3rd canvas ready at the time of production I would have needed to wait another day to have the frame dry enough to stretch the canvas and prep it with gesso. I was able to spend more time blending the colours with two pieces instead of three. I used a pearlescent powder with to give a shimmering effect for the cloud area around the bright orange sun. The idea here is that the sun is peeking over a deep blue ocean to move across the sky from East to West.

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Thanks for stopping by,

 

-S

Abstract Art- Archipelago

(Blue, gold, grey swirls, acrylic art) Archipelago- Acrylic art abstract by S. Konu
Archipelago- Acrylic art abstract by S. Konu

 

I have been practicing new techniques with my abstract art. Swirls, clouds, and other effects are what I have been trying to achieve, and as seen above, my pursuits have been pretty good.

This piece is different because not only have I tried to communicate familiar shapes, but I have experimented with the shape and dimensions of the canvas. (Notice that the top right corner is irregular, and creates an inclined shape.)

I still try to focus on effective colour composition- as this is the reason why I started painting in the first place. Grey, blue and gold are the colours  I am loving right now; however, I am noticing that dark violet tones are creeping in to my work (seen here).

Thanks for stopping by,

 

-S

Golds, Blacks, Burgundy in acrylic on canvas

The marbled effect of this 12 X 24 piece is for me: almost breath taking.

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I say “almost” because I am an outspoken critic of myself, along with the fact that I am in full understanding of the fact that I am very near to achieving the style I am working toward, but have not arrived there yet.

In this piece, I gave used acrylic on canvas, with a strong emphasis on dark vs light (perhaps a thematic feature of most of my work?). Texture and relief are present.

Gold is splashed within the veins of the work, to represent redemption and I even used sparse bits of gold leaf as well.