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ZanBarrage
04-12-2008, 10:23 AM
I know this subject has been discussed before, but let's try it again.

For me, putting oil pastels under glass is a non-starter. The whole point of working with oil is to see it fresh without glass. Now most of the objection to using fixative and finish that I have heard seems to be that in 200 yrs if they ever needed to clean off the finish because it yellowed, they couldn't do that becuase the OPs will smudge when exposed. Are there any other problems with using acrylic or oil finishes? I have not yet used any but I am planning to protect some works very soon. Your advice is needed please.

lisasb
04-12-2008, 03:22 PM
Zan, I'm currently experimenting with a combination of Sennelier OP fixative plus Golden Archival Varnish, per the instructions in Marilynn Brandenburger's article,
http://www.oilpastelsociety.com/OP%20Primer-Framing%20without%20Glass-Marilynn%20Brandenburger.pdf.

So far I've only tried it on two pieces, and I've been happy with the results.

I know a big objection to fixative is the glossiness of the finish, but I cover that with satin varnish (the Golden Archival comes in matte, satin, and glossy), and I don't see any distracting glare on the finished piece.

I don't know how UV protective the finish is, but I can run my finger across the piece and not pick up any pastel from the surface. Impasto passages seem to need at least 4 layers of fixative before they're really fixed. And the archival varnish is removable, so the painting is theoretically cleanable in the future.

If you try this, start with pieces you don't care about. I for one have trouble spraying really evenly, so I did get a couple of small puddles.

The other thing is, I don't mind a certain amount of glossiness in the finished piece, since I'm used to oil paintings, so my perception of glossiness might be different than someone else's.

I'm sure there are others out there that have tried fixing/varnishing a lor more than I have...

Lisa.

keenart
04-12-2008, 05:38 PM
Under certain conditions where you have used thin watercolor paper as a substrate, with age the paper may flex, and a coat of spray that was applied too thick, can curl and begin to peel away from the surface taking some of the pigment with it.

There are always hazards, it is the choice of the artist unless demanded by the client.

ZanBarrage
04-12-2008, 07:33 PM
Lisa that is exactly what I would like to do. I am not sure one actually needs the Sennelier fixative as long as you are using acrylic glaze in a spray I think it should go well.

Keenart, yes I see your point, but remember that you can fix the thin paper on a board or stiff backing and not run into these problems. Otherwise avoid paper of less weight than 140lbs for OP work.

My gallery is not too interested in work under glass. People are avoiding Watercolours and work under glass according to them. I need to find a solution if OP is going to be a serious medium that I will use.

keenart
04-12-2008, 08:07 PM
That is true about fixing the paper to board, however, I have seen several situations where UV was able to blister acrylic based sprays and cause some serious problems. Very difficult to repair.

I cannot rememberr the exact mixture, but do know that there is a spray that is applied with an atomizer. It contained a mixture of damar, fossel wax, and one of the mildest solvents.

Perhpas you should contact a Conservator about your needs.

Scarefishcrow
04-12-2008, 08:19 PM
Zan,

Might I recommend to you that you check out the Art Materials Information Education Network site that deals with these very issues and is headed by the chair of the ASTM committee on art materials. The link is

http://www.amien.org/

Cost nothing to register.

One thought I have seen somewhere is the possibility of a thin coating of pure beeswax (would have to be applied carefully after OP sets ) this can then be buffed to a matte finisih. Check some articles on Encaustics and encaustic art. Many similarities to OP (beeswax and pigment in purest form, applied while melted and fused with heat to hard, buffacle sufrace)

Personally, I am not fully convinced that in some cases after a period of time for the OP to harden that it could not be lightly buffed. Without glass, though, you are always going tohave the possiblity of surface damage that is much greater than in oils paints because of the "Nondrying" (non oxidized) property of the oils used in OP manufacture. That is why Kama Pigments introduced the Extra Greasy Oil Pastels made with drying linseed oil that bridges the gap between OP and oil sticks.

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 10:25 AM
I will experiment with varnishing and let you know. Keenart, not to pick on what you are saying, I think you are right to be cautious, but I also want us to be reasonable in our caution. The blistering of acrylic coating must have been a very extreme case. A case where an OP was placed over a radiator or in direct sun in a hot room or in a car. Art can be destroyed through abuse and when that happens it can't be the material that is blamed it has to be the abuse. Don't you agree?

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 10:27 AM
Hi Bill,

I went to the website and followed some of the discussions there. What exactly do I need to review there? I am not sure if I found it :)

Pat Isaac
04-13-2008, 05:39 PM
Coming in late to this discussion, but in the link to Marilyn's experiments I might point out that she only works on board. All works on paper should be framed under glass as it is the paper that needs to be protected. This is the link I have to her process. http://www.oilpastelsociety.com/OP%20Primer-Framing%20without%20Glass-Marilynn%20Brandenburger.pdf

Pat

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 06:40 PM
Hi Pat,

I did read Marilyn's article and will definitely be trying her method. Exactly what are you protecting the paper from under glass? I am not sure I get it.

I have been using paper for many years and I find that good WC paper is very durable. The acrylic coating is not brittle, so unless you crease the paper you will not hurt it. For thin paper, one can always adhere the paper to a board to avoid accidental creasing.

Pat Isaac
04-13-2008, 06:47 PM
I guess what I am saying is that is it best to protect works on paper under glass as over time the paper breaks down even though it is 100% rag. It is susceptible to many agents that will break it down over time. Most works on paper are framed under glass, in fact I don't of any that aren't.

Pat

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 07:25 PM
Yes I agree with you Pat. Now I know what you are saying. I know that works done on paper (watercolour, pastel, conte, charcoal) are traditionally framed under glass for protection. What I am wondering is that since we are suggesting covering the paper in acrylic (presumably on both sides) the paper is sealed and fully protected. I know many collage artists who use acrylic medium and their work is very durable without glass.

I guess what I am saying is that while tradition says that paper = glass, it is time to question that since we have acrylic as a factor.

I will test this and let you know. Of course this is all theory and what you are suggesting is tried and true.

Pat Isaac
04-13-2008, 07:31 PM
It's always good to experiment. That is how we find new things. Let me know what you find.

Pat

keenart
04-13-2008, 07:41 PM
Zan,

Yes, in many cases damage to works of art is due to unknowing individuals that hang the artwork in a very bad environment. Like the bathroom!

Go Figure.

I have seen cases where the pigment was improperly ground and the damage occured in this situation as well, although rare.

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 08:01 PM
OK so here is what I am going to try. I am going to take Spring Meadows, a small work with heavy use of Sennelier OP and brush over it a layer of acrylic medium. I will use a light touch (I am a watercolourest so I have learned how not to disturbe paint on the ground). I will let you know how it goes.

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 08:15 PM
OK done with the first layer:thumbsup: . I used a soft gel (Semi-Gloss) gel medium. It goes on creamy, but dries transparent and has a UV protection to boot! I used a soft brush and laid the gel thinly and softly. The OP was not disturbed at all. I will lay a few more layers and then buff it lightly. I will let you know what happens.

:evil: :evil: I plan to place it on the dashboard in my car for a few days.:evil: :evil:

Meadows was done on Canvas board btw.

AngelaF
04-13-2008, 08:29 PM
This is a very interesting discussion and I am anxiously awaiting the results. I am wondering though, Zan, why you went from considering Marilyn Bradenburger's method, and then acutually tried the acrylic medium? How is acrylic medium different from clear gesso? There is a thread where someone tried clear gesso and it peeled off. Thanks for sharing you experiments with us. Angela

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 08:46 PM
According to my collage friends, Acrylic medium is the best sealant around. They use it to trap news print on board or even canvas and it becomes archival and permanent. It basically forms a plastic seal over the work. I have no idea what clear gesso is but it doesn't sound like a binder.

What I am trying to do is to cut through the red tape Angela. We have a very robust medium that we are treating like its very sensitive cousin.

UPDATE:
The first layer has dried. I ran my fingers over the work and it is as good as dry oil colour or acrylic. I will now put a second layer just to make sure, but I doubt that I will need more than that. No colour shift and the gel has bonded with the work! The testing will start tomorrow in the car.:evil: :evil:

AnnieA
04-13-2008, 09:35 PM
Zan: The problem that I've read about with varnishing OPs with acrylic medium has to do with the different drying rates of the two materials, and that the underlayer, the OP, doesn't really completely dry at all (OK, I guess some of us figured that maybe in 20 or 30 years OP may dry, but for the purposes of this thread let's go with the "non-drying" definition). I think some of the delamination issues that Angela describes may have to do with the OP layer underneath, which is not dry, expanding and contracting at a different rate than the acrylic medium layer on top, which is dry. And it may be, if the OP is drying at a very slow rate, that the expansion and contraction varies over time, which would be an additional potential problem.

The OP medium is indeed robust, but that doesn't, unfortunately, necessarily mean that the unprotected surface of an OP painting is naturally invulnerable to damage, the way an oil painting is (at least relatively). I have seen OP works framed without glass in galleries that were treated with something like the Bradenburg method on the OPS site (it may be the same or very similar to the Susan Bennerstrom method, whose work it was that I saw in the aforementioned gallery) but the gallery rep still said that the surface was relatively fragile and could be damaged if scraped or treated roughly.

Just as an FYI, here's a link to some of Bennerstrom's work: http://www.davidsongalleries.com/artists/bennerstrom/bennerstrom.html
I've thought of writing to Bennerstrom to ask about her varnishing method...

Pat: Didn't Bradenburg say in the pdf that she based her method on Bennerstrom's?

Zan: How long is your test going to last. Wouldn't it need to be quite a while? I hope I'm not going to discourage you with what I've written here. I also have been hoping for some sort of alternative to framing under glass, so despite all of the above, I'm hoping your experiments will be successful.

ZanBarrage
04-13-2008, 10:00 PM
OK folks. ehhhh it didn't work. I was testing the edges and the layer of acrylic pealed off very easily taking with it the OP. Sigh!

The gel did adhear to the OP, but since the OP is loose over the Canvas board they both came off. So I guess we need the fixative first to make a solid block out of the OP before a gel could be placed over it. Lesson learned!

keenart
04-14-2008, 12:39 AM
Clear Gesso lacks the Titanium Dioxide found in White Gesso. It is great for covering watercolor papers and bare canvas, but it seems to need a tooth to adhere. I would therefore say do not use it as a varnish.

lisasb
04-14-2008, 01:31 PM
I guess I'll jump in here, since I've done a lot of acrylic work over the last 5 years, on every surface imaginable, and I've done a lot of reading on it.

Zan, I'm not surprised the acrylic didn't adhere, acrylic is a water-based medium that can't adhere to an oily surface. I know, I've tried, but that rule is apparently one that can't be broken.

Why I think Marilynn's method will work is that the OP fixative is vinyl resin and alcohol, and the varnish is mineral-spirit-based; in other words, nothing is water-based, so there shouldn't be adherence issues.

Like Marilynn, I'm using this varnishing method on pieces I do on hard board that won't flex. Still, they may be somewhat more fragile than a dried oil painting, so I will warn my customers about that.

I like using paper for OP, too, but paper works I generally frame under glass.

Zan, I'm sure you've tried Ampersand's textured claybord (now called AquaBord, I think) -- that might be a nice alternative to w/c paper. Or as you say, mounting the paper on board would address the flex issue.

Lisa.

Peiwend
04-14-2008, 02:31 PM
Although I cannot vouch for it in the long term, oil pastels thoroughly blended with Dorland's Wax Medium will dry.

If I wanted to frame oil pastels without glass, I would use one of the drying oil pastels such as R&F Pigment Sticks or Kama Extra-greasy Oil Pastels on a rigid surface such as panel, board or canvas mounted on board. By the way, Zan, the extra-greasies are made in Canada and are relatively inexpensive. There is a thread about them.

The galleries that represent me have no problems with works under glass and one specifically requires that works on paper be framed under glass.

Many customers are avoiding framed watercolours now because it is almost impossible to tell the difference between an original and a Giclee reproduction on watercolour paper.

Hope this helps...

_________________________________Wendell

ZanBarrage
04-14-2008, 08:42 PM
Hi Wendell,

I am just think that IF this medium is going to be more than a convenient sketching medium and get serious consideration, there has to be a sound way to make it durable.

I can't see much of an appetite by collectors for works that are so delicate. If you consider that as artists we need to make art that answers to our public's needs not just our own, OPs don't really cut it so far.

Right now, my Gallery will pay more for my watercolour sketch-books than for my full size watercolours. I don't want to get too involved in a medium that comes with similar issues. Oil and Acrylic seem to be what the public wants and frankly, as an artist, I can use any medium so why not answer the public need?

I am conflicted. I love the feel of OPs, but I just don't know what to do with them!

lisasb
04-14-2008, 10:06 PM
Hi Wendell,

I am just think that IF this medium is going to be more than a convenient sketching medium and get serious consideration, there has to be a sound way to make it durable.

I can't see much of an appetite by collectors for works that are so delicate. If you consider that as artists we need to make art that answers to our public's needs not just our own, OPs don't really cut it so far.



Well, I guess it depends on your market (not that I'm an expert there, marketing is my least favorite activity), but after all, dry (soft) pastels are considered a serious medium, and they're considerably more fragile than OPs.

If your gallery isn't crazy about your works that need glass, maybe you can do oils or acrylics for them, and find another gallery for your watercolors or oil pastels.

Peiwend
04-14-2008, 10:46 PM
Zan, for many years I've made my living solely from the sales of my paintings in art galleries. At first I worked in watercolour and for a brief time in acrylics but mostly in oils. Then for several years the paintings were done only in oils; but last year I needed a change and now work mostly in oils but also in soft pastels and oil pastels. The larger works with a strong subject work best in oils. These are all done in studio. I love to do more atmospheric works in soft pastels. Oil pastels are wonderful for their immediacy. You can grab a few and go. They're also great for painting nature and skies. The pastel works are generally smaller, from 10 x 14 to 16 x 24. Sales have been excellent for the pastel works and all have been framed under glass. By the way, the soft pastels are much more fragile than the oil pastels. They've been shipped from the east coast to Toronto, Ottawa and the west coast with no incidents of damage.

When framing with glass it's a good idea to use a fairly solid wood frame. Wood frames cushion the glass better than metal. Rabbet foam tape applied to the lip of the frame also helps. Linen liners used with spacers, rather than mats, are more solid and help cut down the size of the glass. In one of the threads I started, you can see a photo of one of my paintings framed this way. As you might have guessed, I frame all my own works using ready-made frames bought at wholesale.

Generally, because the materials cost less and they take less time to do, my pastel works are sold for a bit less than my oil works.

The presence of glass helps differentiate the oil pastels from the oils. It also signals to the buyer that care must be taken. I would be very afraid of a vulnerable varnished oil pastel work being damaged and returned to me to be repaired. How would one repair it?

Naturally, I can only write about my own experiences, but I hope it helps...

____________________________Wendell

p.s. I guess we cross posted Lisa but I agree with you. I'm not good at marketing either but let others do it.

lisasb
04-15-2008, 11:46 AM
Wendell, great info on framing, it's good to know you can DIY frames for works under glass, since I have an extremely limited framing budget. And I like the idea of liners vs. mats.

You mentioned a thread that has a photo of your framed work, I'll have to go look for it.

I'll keep experimenting with fixative and varnish, if I find out anything significant, I'll post. But at $23 a can for fixative, it may end up being cheaper (and safer) to frame under glass!

Lisa.

Peiwend
04-15-2008, 12:18 PM
Lisa, I have to correct myself. The photo and details of the framing for one of my works is post # 3 in the thread "How Large do you Work?" which was started on 1-5-2008.

Thanks for your interest...

_____________________________Wendell

Pat Isaac
04-15-2008, 04:09 PM
Okay, what does DIY mean?
Here is a link to Wendell's post http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=468350

Pat

lisasb
04-15-2008, 08:24 PM
Okay, what does DIY mean?
Here is a link to Wendell's post http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=468350

Pat

DIY = Do It Yourself, a home improvement term. Thanks for the link.

Lisa.

lisasb
04-15-2008, 08:32 PM
Another question for you glass-framers out there -- do you ever use PlexiGlass for your oil pastel works? I know it's cheaper (?) and lighter, and of course, unlike soft pastels, you don't have to worry about static.

Lisa.

Peiwend
04-15-2008, 08:52 PM
Lisa, I haven't tried it simply because I've had no problem with the glass. There's a thread about using different kinds of glass in the soft pastel talk forum where some people mention having used plexiglass. Do you have to be more careful when cleaning it? I wouldn't see any problems with it. If you do try it will you please let us know the results?

By the way, the paintings on your website are beautiful.

_______________________________Wendell

ZanBarrage
04-15-2008, 09:55 PM
But at $23 a can for fixative, it may end up being cheaper (and safer) to frame under glass!

Lisa.

I am beginning to come to that conclusion also. After visiting Pat's webpage (Wendell I don't know yours). If Pat is satisfied with her beautiful work under glass, I can be too. Sigh! I will have to pursuade the gallery to take the pastels under glass and take a bit less for them! ...when I get around to doing good ones that is LOL!:D

lisasb
04-16-2008, 11:19 AM
Wendell, thank you so much! I'm in the process of reorganizing my website, I'd love feedback when I finally get it finished.

I think plexi may scratch more easily, I'll definitely let you know when I try some.

Zan, you probably know all this, but if you don't have an exclusive contract, you really could shop your works under glass around to other galleries. To date, I haven't approached any galleries, I do all my sales from open studios and art fairs. Santa Cruz Open Studios is a big juried show (250+ artists), and a lot of work under glass gets taken home -- no shipping issues. If your community has open studios, that's another good sales option.

Art fairs are another option, plenty of opportunity for cash-and-carry, though I haven't had the best luck with them.

Lisa.

Pat Isaac
04-16-2008, 02:42 PM
I can't imagine not putting my work under glass. I would be so nervous about it being damaged. I have shipped with glass in airfloat boxes with no problem at all. I find plexi scratches and you can only clean it with certain cleaners.
I have a studio in an old factory building and we have an Open Studio event every year. I usually do quite well with sales. It is a great venue to showcase your work.

Pat

Art by Anima
04-16-2008, 06:02 PM
I've only framed oil pastels I've done on paper under glass. Otherwise, I work on stretched canvas and leave the final piece unframed. So far neither me or any of my collectors that I know of have had any problems. And some of my oil pastel works are over 10 years old.

I give a care letter with each sale to the collector warning them to be careful with the surface - especially from scratching.

I just started experimenting with Liquitex medium for layering and matte varnish for protection.

AnnieA
04-16-2008, 10:39 PM
Welcome to WC, Art by Anima! :wave: Thanks for letting us know about your experience in framing without glass. I guess the jury's still out on all of this, since results seem to vary so much.

I hope you'll post some of your pieces in the OP Forum. I'd love to see them. :)

Pat Isaac
04-17-2008, 07:20 AM
Welcome, to the OP forum...:wave: It would be great if you could post some work. How do you like working n canvas?

Pat

Art by Anima
04-17-2008, 12:48 PM
Hi everyone. I would love to post some work - I'll try and do that right away.

I really love working on stretched canvas. I've worked with a number of different papers but I always come back to canvas for my major pieces.

Art by Anima
04-18-2008, 01:02 AM
I posted a painting over at the Oil Pastel Studio. Here's a link to the thread:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6733217#post6733217

Scarefishcrow
04-19-2008, 04:56 PM
...when I get around to doing good ones that is LOL!:D

Tell you what, Zan..Send all your bad ones like those you have posted to me, I'll sign them and sell them as mine!!! :rolleyes:

You are overly modest about your skill!:envy:

Besides, when more talented artists like you continue to start working in OP than people will realize (glass or no glass) that good painting is good painting! Unless you are verry knowledgeable, many people that visit galleries can have trouble telling what medium a work is executed in unless it is labelled. OP on canvas could, I think, be as popular as other media on canvas. There seems to have always been a market bias against works on "paper" no matter how good they are. With proper care paper works can last an awful long time. Look at some of the surviving silverpoint works from the early days of art. And who would have thought paint held together by "egg yolk" would be around from before the Byzantine? The incredible survival of delicate religous "icons" we saw in Russian museums, churches and monastaries are testament to how some delicate things can survive enormous spans of time.

I'm probably now in babble mode and people are going what the heck is he saying. Well, I don't know any more than you. Just shut up and keep painting with OP, Zan! :lol: :lol: That's and order! I think I'm probably older than you so that make me an elder. That means we don't have to have reasons, be logical or make sense, we simply have to be resepected and obeyed (why do you think I keep taking orders from that old codger Wenndell:p ).
To do list for Zan:

Buy some glass.
Buy OP's.
Make OP paintings.
Frame them with above glass.
Be happy you can paint something somebody even wants to buy.
Wait for the chemistry industry to solve the problem for us with some
new wonder chemical fixative that is able to protect anything from everything, for all time( and be so nontoxic you can use it for cooking as well)!

BTW, Zan, you may have noticed I have temporary lapses of sanity that often show themselves in posts. Most people don't notice, but if you do, don't tell anyone else! Keep us the good work, my "Childe"!!:wink2:

Scarefishcrow
04-19-2008, 05:13 PM
Annima--Ignore that idiot that posted just before me! Just one of those tottering old fools we have to tolerate. He really is harmless, though he tends to be "wonkish" and "verbose" (sorta like that AnnieA character:evil: :p :lol: that we all love and adore).

A quick welcome to the OP forum. Left a longer message with the work you posted.

Look forward to seeing you around!

Pat Isaac
04-19-2008, 05:17 PM
I noticed....:lol: :lol: You are a gem, Bill.

Pat

Peiwend
04-19-2008, 07:12 PM
OLD CODGER! OLD CODGER?

__________________________Wendell

Scarefishcrow
04-20-2008, 08:12 PM
OLD CODGER! OLD CODGER?

__________________________Wendell

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Oh darn. He must have had his ear trumpet with him!

Peiwend
04-20-2008, 10:35 PM
Ear trumpet? What's an ear trumpet, Bill? Sorry, but I'm too young to know what that is. Is it something used by you old fogies?

Have a good time in NC!

_____________________________Wendell