I finally went to the hardware store and bought myself some wood panels. I've been fighting with the canvas for so long and all the while I knew I like painting on wood better. I'm not sure why I didn't do this sooner.
I was able to get eight 18 x 24 plywood panels from one large board. Plus I have 3 strips of smaller panels that I can cut in the studio for smaller paintings. They cut the larger boards for me at the hardware store and all together it was 36 bucks. What a steal! I sanded the edges and put a layer of gesso on it over the weekend and then this afternoon, I started my first portrait.
It's just so much easier to work acrylic on wood. The colors blend better. The paint sits on top and looks brighter. I'm so happy that I switched over. For now, the canvases are going back into storage. I can't wait to get back to this painting on Wednesday.