Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seeking the answers

to the meaning of life. Well, no.......not quite that hard a question. Here is the farm sign, painted using M. Heart's wonderful instructions re: making a stencil out of masking tape. Nevertheless, mine came out sort of sloppy. Youre supposed to make your letters on the computer. But the word processing program didn't enlarge the letters enough, so I used my hand made letters. NOW I realized I should have made squared letters, easier to cut. But anyway. Would you use this sign? Or do it over?

Here's the studio sign done the same way. This I'm okay with for some reason. I used regular acrylic paints on this as it will be inside the house, not outside in the weather.

Question #2. You didn't think you'd get off that easily did you? :) I've put screw eyes and wire on the backs of the wax collages and look, they do not rest against the wall, but way out. I tried tightening the wire but it does no good. I put the screws in 1/3 of the way down from the top as my framing book says to do. I've done this many times in the past and don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Do your paintings hang flat against the wall, or slant away from the wall like this? What am I doing wrong?


Mim said...

I thought all hanging went away from the wall like that but I am no specialist. Could you bend down the eyes of the screw so that they are flat? Or, could you screw in the screw-eyes inside the frame and have the wire go side to side within the frame. You'd need a longer nail to hang them on, but it might work.

Kim said...

Hi Suki!

Now how much fun are those signs? I am wondering if the background were not as stark white if you would feel better about it? Or maybe a narrow border just inside the edge of the support. Just a couple of ideas if you feel the need to make changes.

Now about the hanging of your work. I have used the screw eyes before, but they were ones I purchased in England and they had these extra little rings on them and were smaller...together that helped them sit a little closer to the wall but not flush. Mainly, though, I use those little self-leveling strips you attach to the stretcher bar...they look as though they have little saw teeth (not sharp) on them. This works well for me. And some of the supports on the larger canvases do not allow for direct hanging (just sit them on a nail or screw), but I have also done that with the smaller ones which are not in danger of being knocked off the wall.

If I were smart, with the larger canvases, I would attach wood strips to the walls and place the canvas directly hanging on those.

I have to say, though, when I first saw your photo, I thought exactly the same as Mim!

Let us know what you decide, Suki!


sukipoet said...

Thanks Mim. someone else suggested screwing them into the inside of the wood support frame too. I could do that, redo the ones I've done. Good idea.

KIm, another friend also suggested the white was too stark. Apainted border inside the edge is interesting if I could do it straight which i could with masking tape. I know what you mean re: sawtooth hangers which I've always liked but I hesitated to use them as many galleries say not to at least on cape cod. Not that these things will be in a gallery and also I am not sure if that is a universal "rule" or what. In my own home I often just sit things on the nail without a wire as you describe but I wanted to set it up "right" for possible display somewhere. Whatever "right" means.

sukipoet said...

So Kim, thanks for all your ideas. Great! Rain continues here for maybe the 5th or 6th day. Flooding possible.

Karen Mowrey said...

Hello Suki!

The sign is a bit white, i would probably at least paint the sides of it, you know the "depth". Will give a finished look without interfering with the ease of reading it from a distance.

AS far as canvas hanging, I have done all sorts of stuff. The self level pound in kind, and use those little clear bumpers or felt pads on the bottom corners to equalize it. I have wired within the frame, but not a huge fan of wire. Small canvases with sturdy frames I have drilled a hole right in the back of the wood to just slip over a nail or screw. Do before the art though and check how it hangs. One of my favorites is nothing more than a sturdy soft cord, like clothesline or a bit thinner, stapled within the frame. No hard metal, no wire, just peaceful, quiet, soft cord. I always make sure it is balanced with the little pads on the lower corners though if need be!

Cris in Oregon said...

Mine hang out from the wall. but not to bad to notice that much.
con always puts the wire on a loop and the other one and before tightening it he brings the center of the wire up to ABOUT the middle top of the picture but not the very top and that is how long the wire will be then he tightens the wire. It might hang a bit better..not so far out. He uses small hooks and he screws them in as far as they go.
I am not a fan of wires either but they are required when submitting to shows.
I too think the sign a bit stark in the background.

sukipoet said...

Oh Karen, those are a lot of good ideas. You know I bought a painting by Elizabeth Freeman in England and she used a ribbon rather than wire, which I've never seen before. I dont care for wire or metal of any sort, but never thought about using anything else to hang. The felt pads are a good idea too. And the drilled hole which I'd never have thought of. Thanks so much.

Well it sounds pretty unanimous that most everybody thinks the sign is too stark. Ok will work on that.

Thanks Cris. I think you are right about shows etc, maybe that's where i got the idea not to use the sawtooth hangers. Thanks for your description of the way Con hangs them. Hmmm, lots of things to try I guess. I have little patience with this part of the thing.

Forever Young said...

i cannot help you on either as i don't know enough, don't change the sign, just add to it is all.

m. heart said...

nice job on the signs, suki! i would just add another element to the top one. maybe a shape like the edges of dragonfly wings coming into the sign at angle.

Honour said...

dear suki - all these wise women on your blog! I have no idea how to hang pictures so can't offer anything there.

i like the sign - i don't think you need to change the letters. I do like the idea that others offered about maybe adding something to the sign. Maybe just a nice border or something ...

good luck!

human being said...

the signs are great... some simple decoration can make them more conspicuous...

i think you may screw the little hooks inside the frame and a bit upper...

Karen Mowrey said...

Hi again.

I had emailed my friend, and daughter's art teacher, who is an artist and studied gallery management in college. Here is his input:

"Most painters use eye screws on the inner wall of the stretcher with a length of thin steel cable in between. The eye screws are usually placed about a 1/4 of the way down from the top of the stretcher and the wire should have some slack so it can be draped over top of the nail or pin that it will be hung from. Really small canvases can be hung using small eye screws and a descent strength string."

Just thought you might want to know what the "pros" think!


sukipoet said...

thanks for your input on the sign Forever Young. I guess it's pretty unanimous that I should doctor up the sign a bit more.

M. Heart, that's an idea. I had thought about doing something dragonfly like.

thanks HOnor. I may try adding a border as that would be easiest and less likely to mess up.

Human Being, I appreciate your input. Now i need to rev myself up to do just a little more work on the sign.

Karen, exactly. That's great. Thanks so much for doing the emailing. You are so sweet. Like a bee. :) So, maybe if I just move the screw eyes to the inner edge it will all work better. I'll try it with one and see. I also changed the angle of the nail I was hanging these on and it made the painting not slant out so far.

thanks to everyone for the various inputs. I appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions. Be well,Suki

Annie said...

Suki, I find if I make the eye screws higher they hang a bit closer to the wall, but for me when my canvas is that thick on the sides I just hang it on a nail, so it is flat against the wall, I like it better that way.
I like the second sign, and the first is not that bad, but I would probably do it over because I am nutty like that :-). And I think Kim has the right idea, maybe dress the signs up a bit...

Patti said...

Definitely needs more colour! The lettering is fine though. And you need a dragonfly on the sign and maybe a pond too. Your farm is a magical place and the sign needs to reflect that. If you get stuck with this let me know and I will play with some designs myself if you like. Maybe you should have a sign design competition!? It would be fun :)

On the picture hanging, I do mine like yours. I guess the smaller the screws the less there is to stick out.

Loved your leaf collage in the earlier post. Red is my favourtie colour.


You've gotten some good answers here. I'll only add that I always use the stick on clear plastic 'bumper' things that have been mentioned, which equalizes the projection from the wall that the hooks create.
I've had things professionally framed and they always use them too. Very inexpensive from the art supply store.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Annie. I like hanging things on a nail at home, really it is easier, but I was trying to prepare these to (maybe) sell. I'm going to try another method today and see what happens. I know, i used to be someone who would redo everything, but I'm trying to be more laid back now. So many ideas about this sign. I really think though if I put a design on it, I'd need a larger, maybe more squarish piece of wood. At least now I know how to do the letters.

You know, up here, most farm signs i've seen are very bland, so maybe that's where i got the idea of just simple black and white.

Patti thanks for all your ideas. Red, eh. I might have guessed that, you use a lot of red in your work. You use the same method I do, well. I don't know why I'm sort of obsessing about the hangers. Maybe it's about something else you know and coming out re: hangers. LOL I guess it is pretty unanimous that I need more color on the sign and some softening of the hard black and white.

Thats a sweet offer you made to play with the idea. Or to have a contest. I'll keep it in mind. and thanks for the reflections on the leaf collage.

Babs, you know I guess I never knew about those equalizers before. I'll check it out. I also realize that I was hanging some of them on rather large nails that stuck out a lot. With the nail at an angle they dont stick out so much. I suppose I could also just glue some little pieces of wood on the bottom of the canvas, but maybe that wouldnt look as good as the equalizers. Guess you are back from the lake???

CHEWY said...

I always put my eye screws inside on the thin side of the frame, not on the back wide side.

CHEWY said...

Looking at your Dragonfly Pond sign... The two lines of text are spread far apart with a lot of blank space in the middle.

May I suggest painting decorative elements in there? Maybe a line of small flowers with a dragonfly in the space at the left and another on the right?

I once worked painting rides at an amusement park and some signs.

I know you wanted a hand painted feel for this sign, but I would have purchased stencils for the lettering. Traced the letters in pencil onto the board and then hand painted over the pencil lines.

Lynn said...

I like your sign letters just fine, but are you going to embellish the sign with some paint and perhaps a drawing or photo of a dragon fly? I hope so. It needs color and pizzaz, but the letters are fine. (In my humble opinion, since you asked).

Sorry I have no hanging suggestions. I put wire like that on mine and use a hanging hook or a push pin in the wall and they seem to hang flat. Maybe your wall isn't flat?

sukipoet said...

thanks chewy. I tried the screws on the thin side today with one picture and that seems to work better. As for the farm sign, it's funny but I just saw all that white space today. the stencil idea is good if ones hand is steady. I am not sure mine is. At this point I guess I have to let the sign sit. the ideas of painting decorative pictures are good but then...what kind of paints. I'd have to buy a whole bunch of outdoor paints and not sure i want to. If i could do acrylics then I would, but they wash off in the weather. Hmmmmmmm. thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated esp as I know you are a graphic artist.

Lynn, very funny. Maybe The wall isnt flat. Probably that's it. Sounds like a good excuse. :)I think the unanimous opinion is I should further embellish the sign (if not completely redo) so I'll have to give it some thought. I fear i may ruin it by trying to be fancy and then have to begin again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Namaste, Suki

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...


I painted a sign for outside using oil colors and one with acrylics ..what I had on hand and I just put a protective clear coat of something.. like poly...whatchamacallit. grin
and they are holding up nicely.

Dont over think it. just go with the flow and it will come out fine.
a small pond and a dragon fly or two would finish it off nicely.

Oh and yes it was the fact that our cars registration was running out that got us off our tushes too. LOL and we moved here on purpose. so it wasnt like we didnt want to do it.. well yes it was.. we didnt want to go thru the hassle. but it sure is heaps cheaper here then in CA to register cars.

marianne said...

I use these canvases as well and the best way to hang them is just a simple nail in the wall . Place the canvas on the nail and slide from right to left until level. In this way the work is always level and tight to the wall. It would fall down, no hooks eyes or wire, maybe not professional but effective
:) >M<

marianne said...

I mean it won't fall down.....
And of course the nail shouldn't exeed the size of the edge. The wood of the canvas will rest on the nail.
So simple so hard to explain.....

sukipoet said...

Hey Cris, Thanks for the empathy re: changing car registration etc. I guess everyone goes through some sort of minor "trauma" around these sorts of things. The truth I re: liscence I don't think I've taken a driving test since high school or at least not that I can remember. Here I think you have to take them every year. Oh well.

Marianne, it's true. I would hang them just on a nail as you describe. Simple solution for at home works. So many answers to the situation.