Hard to make this picture exciting but at least you can see what 'stretched paper' is!

I am starting preparations for my artwork which include stretching paper and making glue. Paper is stretched so that when it is worked on, it won’t buckle  – like the precious love gifts painted by children. You wet the paper completely, lay in on a plywood board and glue it along the edges with gum tape so as it dries it can’t buckle and becomes a stable surface to work on. I haven’t stretched paper for many years and used to do it with my eyes closed BUT it didn’t work this time. I could cry, I have so little time to do art and now the most basic preparations weren’t working. What was wrong? I discovered that gum paper is now so flimsy that the glue dissolves too easily. I had to ensure that the paper was wet but blot it with a towel so it was not too wet and the gum paper could only be lightly dampened but still had to be wet enough to stick. I kept checking my paper as it dried and on the third attempt all was well. It appears that even stretching paper is an art form… bring back the old gum tape. Wondering what this is all about? Click here to find out more about this project.