My very first post here. Glad I found this board. You'll be seeing me here often
My name is Ken. I live in Guelph, Ontario. That is about an hour or so NW of Toronto. I've been a traditional oil painting artist for 25 years (I'm 34 now). I got into photography a few years ago as a hobby (like I need more hobbies, only got a dozen or so now - LOL). I've been printing on canvas for about 5 years. I started with an Epson 2200 and upgraded to a 7600. I reproduce some of my art work and photographs on canvas.
So far I've been using Canon canvas. I've tried PremierART and Bulldog canvases in the past. They're both extremely yellow in appearance compared to the Canon. However, Canon canvas is VERY stiff. It's almost impossible to stretch over stretcher bars without first wetting the edges with water. I do like the appearance and texture of Canon canvas because it is very realistic to the traditional canvas I've used for oil painting. The Bulldog canvas is pretty smooth and doesn't really look like canvas, but rather more like little dots or diamonds that have been pressed by machine into fabric. Not very attractive at all.
Right now I've got a few customers who order canvas prints from me. I'd like to expand that further and hopefully create some sort of a small business or even extra cash to pay for my hobby at least. I'm a teacher (recent grad after changing careers) and only work part time thanks to the economic downturn. Finding full time employment as a teacher may take a few years, so ideally I'd like to supplement my income with some printing.
So, what I'm looking for are some suggestions for canvas. I've looked into most brands (Epson, Canon, Bulldog, Fredrix, Breathing Color, and many more). The problem is that I can't look at or feel the canvas, obviously, before buying. Canvas is way too expensive to be trying out, like I found out with Bulldog. I'm looking for something that is toothy like canvas should be, bright white, easy to work with without having to drench in water to soften, and not too glossy. I like matte canvas so that I can spray a satin finish over it later. I'm not a fan of the super glossy surface like Epson has. Price is also a consideration too. I can't go too pricey otherwise customers balk at the cost of the canvas prints.
Any suggestions on canvas and if so where you personally purchase from and the price?
BTW I should mention that I just filled out an online form to receive a sample pack from Fredrix, so at least I will get to see the texture and feel before committing to purchase a full roll.
Thanks for any help!