Last week I rolled up the painting and headed over to R. Michelson Galleries' workshop. Don Robinson, the master of the frame shop, had already received my stretcher strips and cross braces (shipped from California) and put them together. Six feet by seven feet - really a big piece of art! We rolled it out on a big table and began the process.
Nothing ever goes exactly the way you plan it.
It is SUCH a large painting, and although their work tables are far bigger than anything I have, we still had to jerry-rig them to handle the stretcher. After measuring, attempting to get everything straight and aligned and stapling all the edges, Don and Geoff stood it up - and it was all wrong! The top of the painting wasn't stretched high enough, so almost 2 inches of white canvas was visible. Don had to take the whole thing apart and start from scratch.
But finally, it was done. We stood it up, noting where it would have to be re-stretched and keyed to take out the wrinkles.
After I stretch these big paintings, even though they aren't quite finished, the Michelson Gallery is kind enough to display them for a few weeks until the return to the studio. This one was hard to place - they needed a big, high-ceiling wall. The colors and imagery are so intense that it couldn't be adjacent to any other art in the gallery - it tended to overshadow everything.
"Sirens" - my working title - has a gallery all to itself, and it looks amazing. As you walk up the stairs, you can see the red glow of the painting emanating from the space to the right. It will be there until March 28 or 29.