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Grotius
12-03-2018, 04:33 PM
I participated in a group show this weekend, and while I sold a few paintings (yay), I had one mishap: a painting's hook failed, and it fell onto something that dented and cracked it. The painting is a gessoed Masonite Jack Richeson panel, 1/8" thick, oil, 8" x 10".

Nothing flaked off, so it's intact, but it's like there's a small 1/4-inch high volcano sticking up in the top left (near the roof, see the photo below), with cracks down the sides. Viewed from the side it actually looks kind of cool, as the cracks sort of follow the roof the building, like a trompe l'oeil. But from head-on it's less appealing.

I've taken it to a local frame shop, and they're asking $420 to restore it. I like the painting but not that much; it's not my best work. (I did it about a year and a half ago, and I've improved since, I think.) I've been putting up for sale for less than the $420 they're asking.

Is it crazy to try to restore it myself instead? My instinct is just to push down on it to flatten it out, or perhaps to put a heavy flat book on top of it to flatten it gradually. Then, after flattening, maybe I'd paint over the cracks. It's not a masterpiece anyway, so I wouldn't mind doing this. But I'm not sure whether my flatten-with-book plan is a bad idea. I don't have a photo of the damaged version, as it's still at the frameshop (awaiting my decision whether to pony up $420). Here's the painting before the eruption.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2018/97183-House-at-Glen-Echo.jpg

JCannon
12-03-2018, 06:35 PM
All I can say is...why not? If you don't like the way it looks damaged, and you don't think that a professional repair is worth the money, then you have nothing to lose.

Professional restoration doesn't always work, by the way. I'm sure you recall the time Steve Winn damaged a Picasso he owned, La Reve. The previous owner of the painting saw it after it was repaired, and said that the damaged area is still quite apparent.

So even the pros don't do a perfect job of it. Why not give it your best shot?

Marc Kingsland
12-03-2018, 09:00 PM
All I can say is...why not? If you don't like the way it looks damaged, and you don't think that a professional repair is worth the money, then you have nothing to lose.

Professional restoration doesn't always work, by the way. I'm sure you recall the time Steve Winn damaged a Picasso he owned, La Reve. The previous owner of the painting saw it after it was repaired, and said that the damaged area is still quite apparent.

So even the pros don't do a perfect job of it. Why not give it your best shot?

I didn't know what to advise on this one, but having read this reply, I find it hard to fault it.

Also, being the original artist, you're allowed to do more to repair it. The restorers who worked on the Picasso would have been held back from adding permanent materials to the damaged paint. In this case you've got full rights to even change the appearance of the finished work if you wanted to.

sidbledsoe
12-03-2018, 09:47 PM
Dented or chipped masonite usually breaks up the composite material that it is made with and you can't just push it back without it being still busted up, so to speak. I have dropped a painted masonite panel and it broke off the lower left corner. The masonite came off in layers too.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2018/112587-DSC_0099.JPG
I will probably glue something back in that place and then paint over it.
Yours has cracks so your dent may have shattered some of the inner material like mine and it may be flakey and prone to chip out in the future, so you may want to try to get some epoxy glue into it from the front and/or back, and then push it back into place, then touch up.

contumacious
12-04-2018, 07:00 AM
As I see it, professional restoration is the chosen path for extremely valuable work be it historically or dollars, that would be reduced in value if the restoration was not reversible.

Echoing the previous comments, as long as the damage is stabilized properly, I can't imagine that any conservationist would be more skilled at repainting the areas that need it than the actual artist who painted it in the first place. In this case, clearly the stabilization / repair of the crack does not need to be reversible, nor does the repainting of the damage on the front.

I would suggest you go over to the Mitra forums and see if they could give you some pointers on how to fix / stabilize the crack from the back and patch it up on the front so you can repaint as necessary.

DickHutchings
12-04-2018, 11:14 AM
Just clamp it or hammer it down then fill the hole and repaint the little spot. What's the big deal?

Grotius
12-04-2018, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the replies! I do think I'll try doing it myself. I appreciate all the advice.

Jon Bradley
12-05-2018, 04:23 AM
It's a good measure on board damage like this to use a high quality wood glue to build up the corner and form it back up, and finally repaint it.

It's nothing to sweat over.