Hanging Art

Did you know where you hang your art is very important?  Painted canvas and paper are very delicate.  Original art is easily effected by humidity, temperature and changes in weather.  So where should you hang or store your art investments to preserve and protect them?  Here are a few guidelines –


  • Near a window
  • In a draft
  • In the sunlight
  • On an exterior wall of your home
  • High on a wall (heat collects there)
  • In a closet
  • In a bathroom
  • In the kitchen
  • In the basement or cellar
  • In an attic
  • In an outdoor shed
  • In a storage room without temperature controls

Where should you hang your art?

  • In the living room, den, or bedroom (where temperature is controlled)
  • At eye level
  • On an interior wall
  • Hang it straight!  Hang the wire on 2 hooks placed 6″ – 12″ apart.

Where should you store your art?

  • In temperature controlled storage
  • A large closet with air flow
  • Remember never to lean anything on the canvas of a painting, it will make a dent.

Hope this helps you preserve your art investments.  If you have any questions, just comment.

Can I approach an artist who is painting?

As an en plein aire artist, I know a lot of people enjoy seeing a painting in progress.  The general public usually isn’t sure if its okay to approach an artist or not.  Will you bother them?  destroy their process?  ruin their work?

En Plein Aire painting

If you see an artist out painting and you would like a closer look, follow my guidelines –

  • approach the artist from the side, stand in their peripheral vision so they can see you but don’t block their view.
  • don’t walk in front of the artist when they’re painting.
  • if the artist ignores you, don’t bother them.
  • if the artist looks at you and nods, then goes back to work, wait and see what happens.
  • if the artist turns and talks to you, approach and admire their work, ask questions, offer to buy the painting, ask if they give lessons, ask for a card…

Most artists that you see out painting are self employed and will be happy to talk to a potential customer about their art.

Sometimes I wish the public would see artists painting ‘en plein aire’ in a public place as performance art.   After all, that’s what it is.  Nice comments are good, but how about a tip?  I would like to see people develop a habit of tipping ‘en plein aire’ artists when they stop to watch.   Just throw a buck or two in their paint box.  You can be sure we’ll appreciate it.

I have seen artists that make painting a picture into performance art. They’re usually not painting the view, but a pre-composed painting.  Its even become common for artists to paint a picture to music in a nightclub, although these paintings are almost always abstract.


This artist is incredible, he makes painting into a real performance and people pay lots of money to watch him.




“who I am and why I’m here”

In my many years as a practicing artist I have learned a lot of things about art.  Some of the subjects I want to teach my readers about are:

  • preserving art
  • cleaning art
  • hanging art
  • choosing art
  • art in general

In this blog, I want to write interesting posts for people interested in art.  I plan to post about subjects that I have talked about with customers.  Selling my art at festivals lets me talk with customers and other artists and I believe the things we discussed will interest my readers too.

If you’re an artist, art lover, art collector or art historian, I think you will enjoy reading my blog.  Follow this blog and you’ll learn all about choosing and caring for art.  I’ll include some posts about making art so everyone can understand the process, although I’m writing a separate blog aimed at artists. “Inside the mind of an Artist”. 

Thanks for reading!

Starving Artists Sale: The real story!

Do you shop at those big convention centers when they have a Starving Artists sale?  Shame on you!  Not only are these artists not starving, they’re not really artists.  If they were they’re stifling their creativity doing this kind of art.

Support your local artists, stay away from the big companies that just use artists and art customers.  Boycott Starving Artists sales!  These paintings will never increase in value.  Its like buying a vase at Walmart and calling it an antique.  Follow the links below to find out what these cheap paintings are really all about.

Starving Artists? Original oils for $19?

Starving Artists Sale: The real story!.

Ask Dr.Lori


Want a painting to match your sofa?

In the past, an artist would be insulted if you were looking for a painting to match your couch.  It was a joke among painters, that the public views fine art as a decoration.

These days you can buy a sofa to match your painting, so I think its come full circle.  Today’s art buyers can start with their favorite piece of art and design a room around it.  Many furniture stores will let you choose a design and color for your couch. 

This You-tube video explains  Choosing your couch color through Lay-Z-Boy Furniture Store .  They let you choose style, color, fabric, etc. and see how it will look on your monitor.   At Rooms To Go , you can also choose any couch design and color!  Their YouTube video shows you how to Get any couch color .

Or you can start with your couch color and browse art by size, color, subject, type of art and preferred medium at online galleries like Fine Art America.  Just select your preferences in the menu boxes on the left side of the shopping page.  Be sure to stop by my Fine Art America gallery while you’re there.

The couch pictured is from this interior design blog .


Here are a few facts about framing a painting on canvas –

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This is a ‘gallery-wrap’ canvas. The canvas wraps around the sides so it doesn’t need to be framed, in fact a frame will scratch the painted edges.  This style canvas can be easily damaged if not properly cared for.

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The back of a ‘gallery-wrap’ canvas. A hanging wire is threaded thru a screw-eye and twisted tight, then the sharp ends are covered with tape.

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This is a regular canvas. It needs a frame to cover the staples and finish the painting. 

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The back of a framed painting, ready to hang on your wall. Notice the painting is thicker than the frame, so offset-clips are used to hold the painting in place.

Guidelines to keep your painting safe –

  • Don’t lean the canvas on anything!  It will leave a dent that is very difficult to remove.
  • Frame your paintings in open-backed frames for protection.
  • Don’t store in the attic or shed!  Keep your art in a stable environment.
  • Don’t cover it up!  Canvas expands and contracts with temperature and humidity changes so the back of a painting should not be covered, let it breath.
  • Don’t let it grow mold!  For protection in dusty places the back can be covered with brown paper but corners should be left open to allow some air flow.
  • Don’t touch!  Oil paintings can take years to dry with exposure to oxygen in a slow chemical process.  A painting may feel dry to the touch but the layers underneath can still be wet.  They say some of VanGogh’s paintings are still drying because he applied the paint in such thick strokes.
  • Hang it straight!  Paintings are hung on the wall from a wire attached to the back of the canvas.  Instead of hanging this wire from one hook on the wall, hang it from 2 hooks placed 6″ – 12″ apart.
  • Enjoy looking at your art a few minutes every day!  Its stress relieving, and you did hang it on your wall because you enjoy looking at it, right?

Now that your know how to protect your investment, go buy a painting today!

Think you can frame a painting yourself?  Find all the supplies at you’ll need at Jerry’s Artarama

You can see some of my paintings for sale at HillviewArt

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Matting, Framing, what?

pencil drawing on paper

Tips on Framing Artwork on Paper

Do you own any artwork on paper?  Drawings, prints, watercolors, and collages are generally done on paper.  Paper is very delicate and hard to clean, dust, or repair.  Paper is also easy to damage, it can be torn, get moist, or have something spilled on it.  You don’t want anything bad to happen to your art now, do you?  Well, put it in a frame today!

To protect art on paper,  it should be framed under glass but not touching the glass. If the glass touches the artwork, you may have problems with mildew or condensation.  That’s why you’ll need a mat surrounding the artwork.  A mat is an acid-free board, usually colored on one side, with a window cut in it to surround the image and keep it a tiny bit away from the glass. You can purchase cut mats individually or in a frame from most department stores or you can have one custom made at an arts & crafts store or frame shop.   The window in your mat should be big enough to show the entire piece of art, and sometimes a little more.  This occurs when a print is framed and a space is left around the print and the artist generally signs, titles and numbers the print under the artwork.  Many artists will sell prints with a mat.  Then you just have to get a frame to fit and match your decor.

pencil drawing on paper

pencil drawing on paper

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Matted Pencil Drawing

Matted and Framed pencil drawing

Matted and Framed pencil drawing

I hope I’ve cleared up the mystery of what to do with that drawing you bought last week.

Fine Art America offers prints framed or unframed for your convenience.  They also sell prints on metal, canvas or greeting cards.  Take a look at their large selection.  If you see any art of mine you’d like to order, use the discount code below to get 25% off thru 9/10/2014!

Discount Code:  GJNEVU

My Gallery at Fine Art America

Thanks for reading, now go look at some art!  Its good for you!




Do You Doodle?


When you were in school taking notes from your teachers lecture, did you doodle on your paper? I know I did and I think most of us did. I don’t envy students today that take notes on their laptops, its harder to doodle and write at the same time like we did “back in the day”.

What about now? Have you doodled lately? How about on your shopping list or your to-do list? Well, why not?

  • Doodling is fun!
  • Doodling is relaxing!
  • Doodling is meditative!
  • Doodling is good hand eye-coordination exercise!
  • Doodling is therapeutic!
  • Doodling is creative!
  • Doodling is soothing!
  • Doodling is beneficial in many ways!
  • Doodling takes you away!

Convinced yet? Give it a try and find out what I’m writing about. I think you’ll like it!  Let me be your guide.  You’ll need a small piece of paper, a pencil and a pen.

If you haven’t done any doodling in a while, you may find a blank piece of paper a little intimidating. That’s why I want you to start with a small piece of paper, business card, book-marker or index card sized. Now using your pencil, put a dot in each corner then connect the dots with lines.  Don’t worry if they’re straight or not, you’re just doodling.  Now that you have a limited area to work with, is it less intimidating? Scribble a simple line or lines around in your framed area and you’re ready to get started.

Next, pick up a pen (leave that pencil alone now, no cheating) and get started. Use your pencil scribble as a guide and fill in the area’s you discover with cross-hatched lines, grids, dots, spirals, boxes, basket weave, spikes, swirls, and anything else you can imagine. Do you have a favorite way to doodle?

I’d like to give a shout-out here to Zentangle.com for the idea of framing in an area and using a scribble as a guide.  If you enjoy doodling you should check out their site, they have some amazing ideas for more doodling which you can in find in their  kits.

Here are some of my doodles for you to see how its done.  Don’t try to copy mine, just look at them to get the idea and go do your own thing.  Enjoy!

red doodle

purple doodle

black doodle

brown doodle

Watch this video put out by Jerry’s Artarama (an art supply store)  more information.

Is your painting gathering dust?

Do you have an oil painting that’s covered with dust and/or light dirt?  Even in the cleanest homes, a painting can accumulate dust.  If its an old painting you may want to take it to an art restorer, but for light housecleaning here’s what to do:

Gather the items you’ll need –

  1. Soft Brush – You will need a very soft brush.  An old shaving cream brush, a baby toothbrush or baby hairbrush will do fine.  I found a duster at Dollar General that is like a long haired shaving brush.
  2. Soft bread – This needs to be the doughiest white bread you have.   Sourdough bread, French or Italian bread, or even the inside of a bagel will work.
  3.  Towel – lay your painting on a soft, clean surface, like a towel.

Now we’re ready to start cleaning –

Using your soft brush, gently brush the dirt off.  Don’t apply pressure to the canvas, you don’t want to dent, stretch, scratch or warp it.

Now take your piece of white bread and tear out a piece from the middle.  Use this piece to gently brush and dab the dirt off your painting. Just barely brush the painting in small areas using very little or no pressure.

You should brush dust and dirt off your paintings as described once every 3 months for regular cleaning.


I recently came across an old painting that I hadn’t finished.  I’d like to finish it but its covered with dust, so I’ll clean it off in the way I described above as an example for you.