Last Saturday, instead of having our usual Minds Matter session at Chase Manhattan Plaza, we had our fun day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I don’t think I’ve been back to the Met since I graduated from Parsons so I was really excited to be back there. I really missed indulging my artsy side. I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I got my lavender-colored Met pin. (Fun fact: The Met has 57 colors in rotation for their admission pins. The lavender one we received that day was named “Joker”. Apparently, the Joker, yes, the villain from Batman, wore leggings that shade of lavender back in the 1960s.)
The day’s activities included a scavenger hunt that got us traveling from the Greek sculptures to the African artifacts up to American modern art and the European impressionist paintings. We weren’t able to finish all 19 items on the list but it was a fun activity that really made you appreciate how large the Met was and just how much art was on display inside its walls. One day is never enough for the Met. I want to go back very soon.
But I digress. What I wanted to show was a painting that I purchased from a Chinese vendor who had set up his stall on the south side of the Met’s main entrance steps. A painting he had on display had already caught my eye on my way to the Met, so I made it a point to pass by his stall on my way home. I found a painting of the New York skyline with a pink sky and colors that I loooved. I had to have it. I ended up convincing Henry to buy a painting as well. And so we left the Met with two tubes each containing a rolled up oil painting on canvas (and not a single dollar left in our wallets! The Chinese painter had taken all the money we had with us! haha!)
Henry had his painting professionally framed that same afternoon, and it cost him $150. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that much money on the frame, considering the painting itself only cost $60. Sooo… I decided I would just stretch the painting myself and do without an actual frame. I went on YouTube and found a tutorial on how to stretch canvas. It seemed straightforward enough. I fancy myself a handywoman, so I figured it would be easy, and a good thing to learn to do.
I went to Home Depot one night after work and bought a staple gun for $10 and spent another $3 on the staples. I then went to Utrecht one afternoon to buy canvas stretcher bars (two 24″ ones and two 36″ ones). Those four stretcher bars cost me $13. Total cost of materials: $26!
The night I got the stretcher bars, I gathered all my materials, including a pencil, hammer and measuring tape and settled myself in the living room all excited to take my painting from rolled up canvas to ready-to-hang work of art.
Step 3: Turn the painting over and try to line up the corners underneath. Staple once on each of the four sides. Turn over and see if the painting is lined up the way you want. Adjust accordingly by taking off staples and restapling when necessary.
Step 4: Proceed to staple each side from the middle out in alternating fashion until you reach the corners. Tuck the corners in like you would hotel or hospital beds and staple them as well.
All stretched and hanging on my wall, yey!
Ta-da! (I didn’t stretch the canvas as tight as I probably should have because I only used finger tension, might have needed some stretcher pliers but oh well!)
Pretty happy with how it turned out! It definitely adds some life to my wall, love it! My only problem is that the paint fumes still emanate quite strongly from it. I guess the smell should go away in a couple more days. It’s making me a bit dizzy now as I type on my laptop on the table beside the painting. It’ll be gone soon enough.. I hope! 🙂