Pre-stitching the Canvas

So, Last I left the underpainting sessions of the alef painting was like this:


and I said that this was the last layer of translucent paint I’d use before I would start stitching it. But before I stitch it, I first have to take a pencil and very lightly draw the stitch marks on them. I didn’t warn you about that part. Maybe because I forgot. But this is how I do.

Now, you may think I am doing all this the hard way, or being redundant, but just bear with me, or rather, don’t give me any crap because this is just how I do it. It’s a meditative process for me. I’m letting you into my studio here for Christ sake. Don’t judge me. 😉


Once I make these little marks all around the edges of the patterns, I have to use a long steel push pin on the edges of each line.


This is time consuming and sometimes it loosens the canvas just a little, but nothing that a spray of water can’t fix. If you spray water to the back (or the front of an unused) canvas, it will tighten up when it dries.

I find that pushing this very push pin through the front like this, number one, punctures easier than anything else I have tried. That includes all kinds of awls, pins, etc. And it doesn’t rip up the paper upon pulling it back out too badly. I mean, just the right amount really. It’s nice to have a little of that puncture texture.

I mostly puncture both the top and the bottoms of the lines, so I can see where I am going from the back of the canvas.


The light shines through the other side in all that shadow I have to work in back there. It’s hard enough to maneuver around the stretcher/support bars (as you can see), let alone not having a big enough hole, or any hole for that matter. It makes the stitching from the back go so much faster because I can see what the hell is going on.

When will I start stitching? I have no idea. I haven’t even finished poking holes. I just did a few so I could show you. It’s hot out there and I’m not going to work today. I’m tired and sore all over. Not feeling my best, and tomorrow is full with non-art related business.

But the wheels in my head will be a-turnin’.


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