PDA

View Full Version : Can anyone share experiences & tips on transporting pastel paintings?


pgrillo
06-28-2004, 02:23 PM
As I am nearing the completion of my first body of work I have some real practical questions. I work on homemade gator board supports with watercolor paper mounted to it and they are primed with Art Spectrum Pastel ground. They are very sturdy and lightweight. I paint vertically on a forward-tilted eisel and I never use fix because it deadens the pastel. But, I am terrified to move them let alone transport them in a car - one bump and I imagine pastel will fall off! Also, once sold, what is the artists responsibility for their work if the painting suffers pastel loss while traveling home with the buyer or in framing? Thanks!

bnoonan
06-28-2004, 07:07 PM
I'm not exactly sure how fragile your pieces are but I imagine you bang the back of your board in the process of painting so that you know what is going to come loose has done so by the time you finish the piece. Right? If not, you may want to consider doing this along the way.

I have burnished my pieces by laying down a piece of Glassine and rubbing it gently over the pastel - making sure I don't move the artwork in the process. Try it a few times on a practice piece. This seems to help "set" the pastel a bit better.

For transport I tape the glassine over the piece and then put another piece of foam core board on top.

It seems to work pretty well -let's see if others offer advice.

You may also want to use the "search" button to look up subjects like....
shipping pastels or transporting pastel paintings.

Also... check out the links on the IAPS site. International Association of Pastel Society.

Boxes are also a good source for long distance shipping - check out Airfloat systems on Google for foam lined boxes.

Barb

CarlyHardy
06-28-2004, 07:42 PM
I keep glassine cut to size in my folder with paper. As soon as I finish painting, I cover the painting with the glassine and slide it into my portfolio along with all the paper. The glassine doesn't lift the pastel or cause as much loss as other substitutes like freezer wrap or tracing paper.

Before framing, I whack the back of the painting several times, I thump the bottom of the support on a solid surface, and hold the painting with front side down and shake it, to loosen and remove any particles that are not secure. Sanded surfaces hold the pastel even better than a smoother surface like Canson so I don't worry that too much of the pastel is going to be removed.

I ship pastels unframed sandwiched between foamcore with glassine over the painting surface all the time and have never had a complaint about a ruined painting.

After the painting is framed, I tell customers to keep it glass side turned up to avoid any loose pastel particles from falling onto the glass. Also, if properly framed with spacing, loose particles will fall behind the mat.

Personally, I laugh when someone ask me if the pastel will fall off the painting....I get that question a lot during demonstrations....and I take the painting off the easel and thump it several times to show that it won't :) Pastels are a lot more durable than one might think!
carly

Kitty Wallis
06-28-2004, 08:55 PM
When bringing home dozens of paintings from a trip to Europe, I used my Tube packing technique.

I take along a lot of butcher paper, enuf to put a sheet of it between every painting + 3 on top of the stack and a long piece to wrap the whole thing. Plus a large piece of bubble wrap and some cardboard to protect it on the plane.

I use a tube 6" in diameter and tough enuf to stand on sideways, 1/4" thick. I cut it 25" long, 1" longer than the widest painting.

To Pack: Lay out the long piece of butcher paper on a clean table. Take a couple turns around the tube with one end of the paper. Place the SMALLEST painting on the paper, pastel side up. cover with piece of paper. Follow with next largest painting on top of the first, cover with paper, and so on until all paintings are laid carefully on top of each other, lined up carefully with the paper. Do not tape anything in place.

Important: Put 3 pieces of paper on top to protect the top painting.

Carefully, TIGHTLY, roll up the stack of paintings on the OUTSIDE of the tube. The tighter the better, no movement should be allowed to happen in the roll. If you hear crinkling, stop and restack. Crinkled wrinkled paper might leave a mark across a painting.

When the stack is tightly rolled secure the wrapping paper with a piece of masking tape. Wrap with bubble wrap, and cover the whole roll with cardboard. When I use a flat stiff piece of cardboard I 'break' it at 2" intervals until I have a curved piece that will fit around the whole package.

Fasten with strapping tape.

I have shipped my paintings by UPS in this way. (be careful to close the ends of the cardboard so UPS doesn't bring back your 'empty' package!) Sometimes 10 in one package. They always arrive in pristine condition.

CarlyHardy
06-29-2004, 12:33 AM
I have often wondered what would happen if I rolled my pastels and shipped them in a tube. Nice to know that it can be done.

Kitty, one question? Would you ship an unframed painting to a client like this? or would it be better to ship flat?
carly

If you haven't seen the triangle Priority shipping boxes, you should get a few to use. They are sturdier than a round tube because of the shape.
carly

Kitty Wallis
06-29-2004, 12:57 AM

Kitty Wallis
06-29-2004, 12:59 AM
I have often wondered what would happen if I rolled my pastels and shipped them in a tube. Nice to know that it can be done.

Kitty, one question? Would you ship an unframed painting to a client like this? or would it be better to ship flat?
carly

If you haven't seen the triangle Priority shipping boxes, you should get a few to use. They are sturdier than a round tube because of the shape.
carly

Let me be clear, this is so hard to describe with no pictures.

I roll them around the OUTSIDE of the tube to prevent the possibility of damage when pulling them out as the unpacker might do if the painting were inside the tube.

I always ship them like this with a diagram to show the client how to unpack them or to show their framer how to unpack them.

I have looked at the triangle box and it's true the triangle shape is stronger, but the box is smaller in diameter, thus the painting would have to be rolled very tight to fit inside. Of course you could not roll the paintings around the outside of a triangle. And the cardboard used in the triangle box is much lighter. I use tubes that are 1/4" thick, hard spiral cardboard, and 6" in diameter. If you laid them flat on the floor and stood on them with all your weight they would not squash.

marionh
06-29-2004, 08:22 AM
Forgive my ignorance but what is Glassine? Would this be good to use when storing pastels?

judwal
06-29-2004, 09:22 AM
This is of great interest to me too. Boy...rolling up a pastel. Why does that scare me so much? But if Kitty can do..then I believe!

pgrillo
06-29-2004, 09:50 AM
I transported one painting to a photographer by car and when I got it back, so much pastel had fallen off that I had to touch it up for a week afterward. This was AFTER I had turned the painting upsidedown and shook it. I could never imagine laying glassine on top and pressing down on my work because of the texture and pastel layers to my paintings it would just smear and smudge. I cannot roll because they are mounted to gator board. I've heard the "whack-it" advice before too and gasped at the proposition. Currently, I store my paintings with a foam core cover with raised sides (like a hood) so nothing touches the surface. Maybe I should just frame my work before I move them. Well, Thank you for all your stories of your process!

bnoonan
06-29-2004, 11:38 AM
Forgive my ignorance but what is Glassine? Would this be good to use when storing pastels?


Hi there,

I copied this from Dick Blick art site.

Canson Glassine Interleaving
This milky white, neutral pH translucent paper is for covering prints in storage and for interleaving books. It is .001" thick.

Essentially it's a thin sheet of paper that you can between your work - the same thing that they use the U.S. to put stamps into - Glassine envelopes.

Barb

CarlyHardy
06-30-2004, 12:17 AM
Kitty, I get the longer triangle boxes and cut them down to the length I need. They are larger in interior diameter than the smaller boxes.

I can see how rolling the painting around a tube would also keep it fitted better. Thanks for explaining that :)
carly

Deborah Secor
06-30-2004, 12:50 AM
Pgrillo, be careful not to overfill the grain of your paper. It sounds like your paintings are somewhat fragile. As Carly mentioned, there shouldn't be that much fall off. You can regularly thump the board throughout the process of making the painting so that it won't get so overfilled. At the end you should be able to bang the side on the ground and not have the hightlights fall away.

How do you frame a painting that loses so much pastel just from being transported in a car? Do you use mats or spacers or both? Just curious...

I've never worried about being responsible for my painting losing too much pastel. I always tell my buyers that they can expect a little fall off to happen, but the picture won't disappear! They even have to expect to replace mats every few years, if there isn't a spacer mat, but they don't seem to mind, mostly because pastels are about the most permanent of painting media. They are less subject to color shift, don't crack as they dry out or shift to a yellowish color with age, nor will they fade away into nothing over time. They do need to be protected from water damage. There are pastel paintings done in the 1500s that look like they were painted yesterday--and no oil painting or watercolor can claim that!

Deborah

pgrillo
06-30-2004, 10:40 AM
OK. I'm beginning to see my problem. My earlier paintings were painted flat (not on a vertical eisel) so maybe that's why it lost so much pastel in transit. The last 7-8 pieces were on the eisel, so if anything, loose pastel hopefully would have fallen off while I was working, right? Yes the paintings are fragile (everyone's are) but I still can't see really whacking them. I'll probably try turning them over and shake them bit - there must be some compromise! My painting process would regress to me painting to satisfaction, then smacking the back of my board and cross my fingers that it's still there afterward. I know this must seem like some basic problems to you all, but I'm just starting out. So I thank you again for all the generous advice. -Paul

Deborah Secor
06-30-2004, 11:04 AM
I know this must seem like some basic problems to you all, but I'm just starting out. So I thank you again for all the generous advice. -Paul

Paul, not one of us here started out an expert, nor do we know it all now (obviously :rolleyes: ) but we work to support one another with information. It sounds like you've figured something out already--and we're here to help each other.

If I were you I'd take one of your boards and intentionally sacrifice it, so that from the beginning you think of it as purely an experiment, and work upright on the easel, smacking the living daylights out of the back from time to time, taking it off the easel and banging the edge on the ground hard, just to see what happens to the image you're making. It may be instructive to see what happens. (And I suspect you can always use that same board for another image later, even if you hate what happens, so it won't be a total loss.)

Deborah