Yesterday UPS delivered a box from Sunbelt containing two sample 12 x 16 inch canvases. What I noticed right away was the weightiness of each canvas — the substantial good quality canvas stretched over wide wood stretcher bars, with consistent super tight flat corner folds. Consistent corners are always something I look for. I noted the labels (pictured above) listing the materials—cotton canvas, acrylic titanium white primer, precision squared.
I removed the clear plastic wrap on the canvases and examined the white primer coats. I noted right away that the tooth of the canvas was visible and present and the finish matte. This is important!
Do you use Asian-made discount canvases? Check the corners, the wood frames, and the labels on Asian discount canvases before you buy. Is the primer matte or glossy and slick. Usually labels do not mention materials used. Why is this important?
Did you know that lots of artists have had issues with the primer coating on those super discount canvases made in Asia (Vietnam, China, etc)? In fact, many artists who use an Asian discount canvas will first take the canvas outdoors, spray it down with a garden hose to give it a good soak and then give the canvas surface a good scrub with a hard bristle brush to remove the primer! The extra labor off scrubbing off the primer and the mess and extra expense of applying a coat of gesso makes that bargain canvas much less of a bargain. Why scrub off the primer? Because acrylic paint doesn’t stick to the primer on some discount Asian canvases! There have even been reports of entire paintings peeling right off of Asian-made discount canvases!
If you are an artist in the US it makes sense to buy American made canvases such as stretched canvas sold my Sunbelt—the canvas is consistent high quality, the corners tightly wrapped, the coat of white primer is a titanium white acrylic with a matte finish, as it should be, and the wood stretcher bars wide to prevent warping.
Many artists have noticed the low retail price list on the Sunbelt site and made them their source of supply for canvases, wood panels and silkscreens.
Thanks to all who tweeted and sent our promotional canvas give-away blog post to Facebook!
Winner of our Canvas Give-Away
Seven artists left comments on our blog post making them eligible to win. We assigned each artist a number 1-7 then put the numbers 1-7 into a hat, and then (without looking) drew out a number. The winner # 1 Brenda O. We’ve given Brenda O’s mailing address to the people at Sunbelt canvas so they can ship the 16 x 20 inch gallery wrap canvas to her.