Yes, I am the traveling side-show artist from March to December, tromping up and down the I-5 corridor (and occasionally Eastward) selling my wares.
Since I started last week by setting up my show tent (to take new photos for some show entries), I used that opportunity to finally, after 5 years of trotting this tent around, grease all those joints. Yea! And what a difference that made. I also washed the side panels, found a missing screw, and then took it all down carefully, keeping the various parts grouped together and ready to go for my first show of the season (McMinnville, OR - mid March).
Now that my tent is in good working order, I was happy to take care of items 2 and 3 yesterday. I mostly mention the car care portion of the day as a lead-in to my lovely canvases. As the nice Toyota service person inquired as to why I would have my oil changed in Portland when I live in Corvallis, I said it was on my way to pick up canvas.
" Pick up canvas. I'm an artist."
"You can't get canvas any closer than that?"
To which I replied, "Not if you want quality canvas."
And it's true. I drive up to Vancouver, WA every couple months or so to pick up these high quality, locally made, professionally built canvases from a very nice man, Graydon of Artisan Custom Canvas. I love these canvases. If you have only seen pre-packaged stretched canvases (imported and using lighter/cheaper materials, no doubt), I would definitely recommend building your own or trying one of these! It's a world of difference. And they are such reasonable prices! I used to build my own years ago, but I don't have the time or patience for it anymore. Graydon also does a much better job than I ever used to! He does let me gesso them myself too, so that I can still enjoy the process without all the fuss of using a table saw.
And yes, my little workhorse of a car, 2006 Toyota Prius, is in great working order with a fresh oil change and tire rotation to boot. At 140K miles, it's handled the life of a road-tripping artist well. Not to mention the kids.