This is what it looked like in and around Berlin on Sunday. The snow continued until Tuesday, when we got what has to be our first day of real, all day sun in months and months. Everyone was giddy. I made it outside and found that I could walk along a shoveled, ice-free path for blocks and blocks in the Danziger Straße, with constant sun shining on my person. It was spectacular. Thanks to the sun and its positive affect on my motivation, I finally got myself over to the art store and bought the makings for some new canvases.
Today, well—guess what? The sun is gone and that is not right after all we have endured and the patience we have had. It is, in fact, mean. I went to the post office, plucking my way over the inch-thick ice that is caked over the sidewalks (no one shovels here with any consistency). It was so gray outside, so damp and chilly. It is really the stuff of crazy making. But okay. I did get to the post office and mailed away a painting-related application and that felt like some progress.
When I got back, I began stretching canvas. I am not a great canvas maker. I have no patience. They rarely posess the qualities that are expected of canvases—square angles, flat surfaces, etc.
For a long time I have left the canvas-making to someone who is good at it because I am running a professional operation here; I paint on them and I sell them. I buy paint and brushes so why not (high quality, handmade) canvases? I mean, I always get really embarrassed when I see a poorly self-designed web site or business card. This usually happens when the individual is under the impression that they can do just as good a job as a professional and none of their friends or colleagues can bring themselves to tell them that it is no good. I cringe when I see this because business cards and web sites are the face of one’s business; they shouldn’t look unprofessional.
Likewise for me, regarding canvasses. If I paint on a surface that looks unprofessional how can I expect someone to show it or buy it? But like everything these days, the way I do things is different than before. I have different resources available to me and I need to make some adjustments. And so I will—at least for the time being—build my own canvases. I think that if I try really hard I will do a good job. But if I am under some delusion that they look up to par and they don’t you have to promise to be honest with me. It won’t hurt my feelings, I promise.