Old, Trusty, & Faithful: Cutting down a painting and refitting it to a new size / by Angela Bandurka

Do you ever finish up a painting and wish you'd used a different sized canvas? Today I found this to be true for me, before I was even done with it! The painting, below, was almost done, but once I photographed it (which gives me a far away view of the piece and lets me see design flaws instantly) I noticed that my composition was off. I wished I had started the drawing with the cowboy farther to the left - and the inside of the trailer is unnecessary. 

Here's what I did - I decided to take this 24x20 inch canvas and cut it to 18x24 inches, then "glue" it to a new canvas! Below is the original composition:

So here's what I did

First, I measured and drew with charcoal, the two inches that I was going to remove.

Second, I cut away the canvas off the stretcher bars, using a sharp Exacto blade and heavy pressure. Note that I away from the painting, on the outside edges. That way I could trim as much or as little as I needed, and if I accidentally made the line crooked, it wouldn't matter.

Third, the excess is taken off and I trimmed all four edges.

Fourth, using black paint, I painted the edges and top half of the sides on the NEW canvas I was going to glue the painting to.

After that was dry, I grabbed my soft gloss gel and applied it generously to the entire top of the new canvas; and the entire back of the painting. Then I positioned the painting over the new canvas and removed air bubbles with my hands, working from the center to the outside edges, and pressing down on all the edges firmly. 

Lastly, I turned the painting facedown on top of a slick surface (the back of my self-healing cutting mat) and again pressed out any air bubbles from the back before piling heavy books and such on top of the canvas (inside and on top of the stretcher bars).

And the final product is....

Old, Trusty, & Faithful; 24x18 inches, Acrylic on canvas

Old, Trusty, & Faithful; 24x18 inches, Acrylic on canvas

A Cowboy’s Prayer:

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.

Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold. He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’

‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.

‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.

‘Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, ‘Can I bring my partners, too?’

‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

‘Excuse me,’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’

‘Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.’

‘How about my friends here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

‘Of course! They look thirsty, too,’ said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.

When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. ‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.

‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.

‘That’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’

‘Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake gates? That’s hell.’

‘Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?’

‘Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’

~~author unknown~~