“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!

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Framed!

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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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.

 

Are Websites necessary for artists?

Are websites really necessary for artists? I’d like to know what you think.

I feel like I need a website to look professional, but I don’t think many people really look at my website, word of mouth seems more effective for me. My Facebook ‘Hillview Art Gallery’ page has more visitors than my website, but many of my customers are not on FB, making the need for a website imperative. It feels more professional to be able to hand visitors to my festival booth a card with a website address on it.

Do you think an artist needs to have a website with photo’s of their artwork and a biography?

I decided to renewed my website and domain name with GoDaddy.com. They have hosted my website in the past and they are very helpful and informative. I hope you will visit it soon.

Sign my guestbook and I’ll send you a post card featuring one of my paintings.