‘Nature’s Secret’ Stretchers

What are ‘Nature’s Secret’ stretchers?

Since I have been working in the Treehouse Studio, enshrouded by Nature’s structures, angular stretchers seemed to be more and more ‘inadequate’ over time for producing the kind of natural, energy-infused imagery I strive to depict.  The result didn’t feel like the ridges of bark that wrap around a tree, or the lightness of a cloud, or the infinite diversity that is every single thing in nature.  Countless leaves on countless trees, yet every single one is different.  Nature creates with minute building blocks and as they organically grow into what they become, made from the same ‘stuff’ we are made of, they result in unique, complex structures that are mysterious, elegant and beautiful.  Is it no wonder nature’s energy makes us feel good and we refer to her as Mother Nature?  We are made from the same stuff as nature which makes us all part of a natural family.

This is nature’s beautiful secret and this is what I wanted to capture.

I set out to come up with a way to create a stretcher that felt more like nature so that not only the image ON the surface of the canvas depicted nature, but the very thing itself from its building blocks up, was created in a way that nature would create it.  Additionally, the earth is an oblate spheroid, it is elliptical.  It’s not flat, it’s not square so why should the canvas be?  This created another level of complexity to the problem but one that was worth solving.  The overall shape should feel more like the curve of the earth, like looking at a horizon as such a scale that the curvature of the earth is apparent.

Setting out to solve this problem, ‘Nature’s Secret’ canvases are the result.  These uniquely shaped, curved canvases become natural objects in and of themselves which adds to the integrity of the overall presentation.  They feel like they could have fallen from the sky or you’d see them as a land mass on a map, or as a leaf dangling from a tree.  They’re not just pictures of something that was created in nature, they are natural things that with their imagery, capture nature’s beauty, light, energy, infinite compositions, complexity and wonder.

In the design and construction, there is a layered, ridged edge which is drawn freehand for each layer and built on the previous layer beneath it in much the same way a tree grows and adds another layer to its surface (these layers are depicted in the rings in a cross section).  Once the layers are cut, they are screwed and glued down to a curved backplane so that as the glue seizes, they lock in the curved surface.  From there, keyholes for hanging are installed and handles for, well, handling.

Creating Natures Secret Stretchers

The canvas is then stretched around them so that the reflexive surface can provide the push-pull that only stretched canvas can provide.  There’s a reason its been done this way for centuries!  These stretchers combine all the benefits of traditional painting with something completely new.  The cutouts then become the hanging plates that are used for painting the painting and ultimately for hanging.

creating natures secret stretchers process

READY TO PAINT!!!!  Here we see the results of the unique ‘ridged edge’

ridged edge

Artexpo NYC, April 14-17, 2016

Attend for FREE!

Artexpo New York, April 14-17, 2016 is almost here!  I look forward to having you attend as a guest of JNFA.

This year, I will be featuring ALL NEW WORK!

You’ll see paintings with canvas stretched around organic shapes that have parabolic surfaces.  The paintings are mounted on gorgeous sculptural complements, created by Robert Post, that are handcrafted from exotic, beautiful woods.

Experience for the first time, extensive coverage of the Treehouse Studio!

  • Watch the just filmed ‘artist at work’ video with mind-blowing, never before seen views of this unique creation space. This amazing video was shot on location and produced by the experts at Crumlic Media
  • Enjoy the large feature wall with beautiful photos of the many personalities of the Treehouse Studio

You’ll find all this at BOOTH #A to the left of the main entrance area.  I look forward to seeing you there!

2016 Booth Map v2

Here are your free passes for the event!

Trades/Businesses click me for FREE VIP passes!

Friends/Family click me for FREE VIP Passes!

To use the link, enter your number of passes, and click ‘Register’, do NOT click ‘Apply’.  Follow the remaining steps to print your passes or have them emailed to you.

If you prefer, I will be happy to generate and email your passes to you.  Leaving sufficient time (I will be largely unavailable within a few days of the show), send me a message (please include your address and zip for the ticket registration) and let me know the number of passes you need.

Event Details

Artexpo NYC, April 14-17, 2016 in NYC at Pier 94 (Click me for directions).

You are welcome to attend the ‘VIP Opening Night Preview Party’ on the evening of the 14th!

Take me to Artexpo New York

Artexpo New York logo

Art Expo 2015 in NYC

I am excited to announce that I will be exhibiting at Art Expo 2015 in NYC at Pier 94 (see the artexpo site for directions), the show runs April 23-26, 2015.  April 23 during the day is for Trades, April 24, 25, 26 open to all.  You are welcome to the ‘VIP Opening Night Preview Party’ on the evening of the 23rd with your free Guest Pass ($20 value each)!


Click this link to print free Guest Passes.  To use, enter Quantity and click Register, do not click Apply.


I will be at booth S318 off the SOLO cafe where I will be showing recent major paintings and drawings.
I look forward to seeing you there! 

It promises to be a great venue with much to offer across the art community. There are established gallery offerings in the main art exhibit, new artists showcasing in the SOLO exhibit and framing in the DECOR exhibit.  Let’s hope for some great weather as its a great area to catch some dinner and riverside sights after the show.

Click here to learn more about artexpo…








Look for ‘Sentinels’ in the Show Guide and on page 85 of Art Business magazine!