We spend two hours wandering the cold, cement floors of Home Depot for so long our brains hurt, our legs are limping and our wallets are twitching. We look at "chicken wire" fencing, wood slats, wall boards, particle board, even doors and shelving. I then went down the paint aisle and found cheap canvas drop cloths and thought I might be able to cobble something together and decided it would be best if I first went back to the studio and drew up a visual to our "plan c" - creating display walls for inside the tent to properly and professionally hang my paintings.
It also helped to do this after I saw the tent in person and talked it over with the tent owners and they thought the idea seemed feasible. With a new lack of confidence I return to Home Depot. I first head to the wood section and decide to use the wood I typically buy to use as cradles for the wood panels I occasionally paint on. The rationale here is I can re-use them so whatever they cost could be absorbed under normal business supplies.
I then have them all cut in half to 48" long, thinking two per 10' wall, and so they will fit into my car. I'm not aware at the time but this turns out to be a mistake.
Next, I head for the hardware aisles and find these large, rubber coated "bike hooks" that seem perfect so they won't harm the tent I'm borrowing and seem strong enough to hold the weight. I decide to ask "one of the guys" what they think about using them with the wood I've just had cut. He advises that they are too wide for the wood and says when I screw them into the wood it will split the wood. Almost guaranteed. But I could give it a try if I drill a starter hold first. Sigh. I decide to risk it.
I also wandered around, list in hand, and picked up a new staple gun, a canister of plastic cable ties (always great to have on hand vs bungee cords) and a case of water (hey, it was really cheap). In total, I spend $150 on supplies!?! Remember, this is the same number we would pay to rent really nice, sturdy panels and included in the price was delivery, set up and break down. Geesh! What am I doing?!?
The fun really gets started when I get back to the studio:
#1) I cut the 4' wide x 15' canvas cloths to create three 4 x 5' panels and discover they aren't really 48" wide as they won't completely cover the wood. So I adjust and rationalize that it won't look that bad, the wood is at least white to match the tent and decide I can deal with it.
#2) I then begin to screw in the large bike hooks and gee, after the first two they seem to work just fine! Then with the third one....yes, the wood starts to split. I adjust by turning the boards and screwing them into the "wider" side. It works but still shows signs of splitting. I have no idea if it will hold the weight, if the boards will break after I hang them but I decide to press on. Stubborn, but determined.
#3) For stability and to have something to hang my paintings on I attach the wood slats to the back of the canvas every 20" using the staple gun. I have no idea if I am placing the wood in the proper locations as I have not planned out where I want to hang each painting and I really have no idea if the canvas will hold but when I'm done with the first of six panels I plan to build but I'm exhausted and thinking it doesn't look all that bad...and sit down. Big mistake. I went home.
The next day I built one more (and realize I am short three large hooks) and started in on the framing using a hand saw and a plastic miter. I framed three pieces and then ran out of brads, so I sat down. Then I went home.
Please, if you're in the area this Sunday, do come to the Flagler Fine Arts Festival in Flagler Beach, FL (it's at the park at the intersection of A1A and Rt 100 in the center of town) between 10AM and 4PM to see how this all plays out. I will be the one sleeping standing up against her tent trying to ensure it doesn't fly away.
UPDATE: I was not able to attend the first Flagler Art Festival due to a family emergency but will be there on Sunday, March 17 (St Patrick's Day!) from 10 - 4pm. Stop by!