And not in a good way. I recently had my painting Roma on display. She was always a little bowed, but when I would lay the painting on the ground it would lay flat. It is a really big painting. The only wall large enough for me to hang it on currently has Suffragette, and since that was an engineering feat to hang (that employed ropes, pulleys, and two helpers), I decided that I would just have to hope that Roma would lay flat when she was hung on a wall.
Well, long-story-short, she did not. It literally felt like the canvas was trying to free itself from the wall to hug the viewer. Agh.
So on the strike date for the show (the day all of the artists take their work home) I un-stretched the canvas and rebuilt it.
I learned a valuable lesson that I thought I could share here.
If you are going to stretch a canvas, always have the cross braces attached BEFORE you staple the canvas to the stretcher bars. When I stretched Roma the first time, I didn't have the cross braces yet but I really wanted to start working on it, so I went ahead and stretched the canvas. When I put the cross braces on after the canvas was stretched, the canvas was so taught that the middle of the 88 inch cross brace was bowing. I was barely able to wedge the cross braces into place. Hence a lot of bowing canvas.
No worries though, I re-stretched Roma and she is once again a beauty to behold.