PDA

View Full Version : Storing pastel paintings.


teranja
06-30-2008, 09:01 AM
I know that this must have been asked a hundred times before and if so, please point me in the right direction but...how do I store pastel paintings?? I have only just started pastels and at the moment they are on easels but I need to be able to store them another way without them smudging, preferably flat.

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh and should I use fixative on the paintings?

Thanks....Terry

plindley
06-30-2008, 09:25 AM
HI,
I use glassine paper, slightly larger than the piece, folded over the top of the picture and taped to the back with acid free tape. THis has two advantages - the glassine paper doesn't pick up the pastel and also is extremely smooth and you can actually put one picture on top of another (on a horizontal shelf) and they slide nicely. There may be reasons that I am unaware of which would suggest this is the wrong way to go (I am fairly new at this) but so far it has worked well. The Glassing paper is also translucent, so you can see which piece is where. It is pretty cheap too.

Pat

Deborah Secor
06-30-2008, 09:55 AM
It's from a couple of years ago, but take a look at this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316729). I wrote an article about it, and this was part of my research! Ther's a lot of discussion there.

I now use Clear Bags (www.clearbags.com) to store all my unframed work.

Deborah

nana b
06-30-2008, 10:44 AM
Deborah, which ones do you use, the fold and seal, the sleeves only or the hang ups? And also, do you order the exact size you need or larger to make sure they will fit? I can't remember now what percentage they allow to be off. I'm thinking the ones that hang up would be great for storage. Thanks,

nana

CM Neidhofer
06-30-2008, 11:13 AM
I also use the glasine, placing my painting on a piece of foam core board first, then wrapping and taping to the back of the foam core. They store well flat, as well as on edge in a portfolio, or the closet.

Christine

Wrichards
06-30-2008, 01:56 PM
wow great thread and info. thanks for posting, solves alot of my pastel storage problems :)

Deborah Secor
06-30-2008, 03:27 PM
I use 12x18" and 9x12" bags with the adhesive on the bag instead of the flap. That fits most fo my paintings (on Wallis) and if it's smaller I fold and tape the bag. I also had some 18x24" and need to get more...

Deborah

Maggie P
07-01-2008, 04:27 PM
I use the Clear Bags for paintings I feel are not really finished--those in the holding zone, waiting for inspiration as to how to fix a problem--or plein air paintings that I want to keep as reference but don't intend to frame.

For those paintings that I intend to frame, after they've made it off the shelf where I set them to look at them for anywhere from a few days to a month, I tape them to FomeCor and cover with Glassine. It seems to me the glassine lifts less of the pastel off the surface than the Clear Bags. But the bags are certainly easier!

nana b
07-02-2008, 12:38 AM
Deborah, I went to the site for Crystal Clear acid free bags and I didn't see sizes 12x18 or 18x24. Maybe I overlooked them, that is the sizes I would want also. I checked twice to make sure, do you think they have discontinued them?

Thanks, nana

pui
07-02-2008, 10:16 AM
very informative, thank you all. :)

Artistammy
07-03-2008, 08:11 PM
Deborah, Do you think the clear bags would work to take them to a sale or would people handling them still damage them? I'm always thinking it would be easier not to have to frame everything to have them for sale.
Thanks,
Tammy

Deborah Secor
07-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Deborah, I went to the site for Crystal Clear acid free bags and I didn't see sizes 12x18 or 18x24. Maybe I overlooked them, that is the sizes I would want also. I checked twice to make sure, do you think they have discontinued them?

Thanks, nana

Phyllis, on the first page of the Crystal Clear Bags sitebe sure to select wider than 11" first, then choose the Protective Closure bags, and you'll find 12 7/16" x 18 1/4", and 18 7/16" x 24 1/4" there. The allowance is helpful. If you want smaller ones you have to go back and reselect the width.


Tammy, some of my students sell them at shows this way. You need a sheet explaining that they are still smear-able when removed from the bag and telling them the proper way to handle and frame them. I also suggest doing a demonstration when you sell one, pulling the painting out of the bag and showing them what you mean. You can put the instructions into the bag behind the painting.

Deborah

Artistammy
07-03-2008, 11:30 PM
Thanks, Deborah. I'll probably try that for some small ones when I have a show.
Tammy

pastelist
07-04-2008, 12:45 PM
Where can I get the glassine paper. I usually just frame the painting under plexiglass.

PeggyB
07-04-2008, 02:17 PM
I find the glissine to be the most economical method of storing pastel paintings. I buy mine by the roll from Dakota Pastel. A roll will last a very long time because you can use the pieces you cut off again and again by wiping off any dust that may have gotten on it from a previous painting.

However, here's what I do that's a bit different. I have a closet in my studio because it was once a bedroom. I hang the glassine covered painting from pants hangers in the closet. More than one painting will fit on a hanger if it isn't on a board type surface. I've found even those on a board will hang from most hangers because the clips at the top expand quite a bit. I cut the glissine about an inch wider than the painting, and about 2 or 3 inches longer. Then I fold the glissine over the top of the painting. Sometimes I tape it to the back, and sometimes I don't. Both ways work, but smaller paintings work better if not taping it than large paintings. The large ones seem to need the support of being taped to hold the glissine well.

When transporting them unframed, I stack the glassine covered paintings on top of a foam core cut an inch larger than the largest painting. Then I cover that with another foam core and tape the two together. For transporation purposes, it doesn't matter that the paintings aren't all the same size. I don't sell unframed pastels. Since I have framing equipment I will frame to a client's needs, but I won't sell unframed pastels because I've known too many times when others have done this and the framer the client used has not known how to handle a pastel properly and ruined it - then expected the artist to fix it!

Peggy

pastelist
07-04-2008, 02:35 PM
Wow, that is a great idea for the hangers. As artists we always have problems with space. This is the reason why I love Wetcanvas. Thanks so much for your very informative response.
:clap:

PeggyB
07-04-2008, 02:39 PM
Where can I get the glassine paper. I usually just frame the painting under plexiglass.

As I mentioned above, I get mine from Dakota Pastel
http://www.dakotapastels.com/

I too have been using a plexi type of glazing lately for some of my work, and have found it to work nicely. I've been using the Arcylite OP-3 P-99 from American Frame
http://www.americanframe.com/index.html
This acrylic sheeting is museum quality and anti-reflection. It isn't like Tru Vue Museum Glass, but then the price is a whole lot less too, and in my opinion it is much better in appearance than the Tru Vue AR (anti reflection). A full sheet (32x40) is $46 v full sheet of regular acrylic at $24. However, they also cut to size and for comparison a 16 x 20 OP3 P-99 is $20.55 v regular acrylic at $ $8.45. Anyone who's priced Museum glass at that size will realize the difference is about 3 to 5 times more for the glass than the museum quality acrylic. Now I will confess that I leave the acrylic in place only so long as the painting is in competition. Since the anti reflection quality seems to attract people more it is worth the price. If a client wants to retain that look, they are willing to pay to have museum glass replace the acrylic. This takes a bit of "pre-explanation" on the part of whom ever is selling the work, but so far that's not been a problem. They are told to clean only with anti-static acrylic/plexi cleaners. I've even had people say they will keep the acrylic awhile and decide if they want to change to glass. I haven't used the acrylic long enough in a gallery situation to know how many will keep the acrylic, but so far I can think of only one that has asked to have it changed. I'm either "fixing" the pastel well enough to keep it in place or framing far enough away from the surface of the artwork so the acrylic doesn't attract dust - or both! :)

Peggy

teranja
07-24-2008, 10:14 PM
Thank you all soooooooooooooooo much for the wonderful advice and tips. :thumbsup: Hopefully I'll be able to store them now without damage or smudging. :)

halthepainter
07-24-2008, 11:28 PM
I know glasine is the best but I'm cheap. If it is a piece I intend to sell, I frame it right away. I even keep some cheap frames on hand for temporary storage. Pieces I don't plan to sell but don't want to throw away I keep in news print. I have a couple big newsprint pads 18 by 24" and put the painting between pages of the pad. I leave 3 or 4 sheets between paintings. There is no slippage or smearing and amazingly little pastel is lifted off the paper. I know newsprint is acidic but I have had some pastels in the pad for several years with no visible degradation. So little pastel comes off that I could frame the pieces without touch up.

Judy H
07-25-2008, 12:23 AM
Maybe I missed it. But, I did not see where the question about fixative was addressed. I do not use it. When using fixative, your pastel colors will not be as bright.
Judy H

PeggyB
07-25-2008, 10:10 PM
Judy when I use fixative I use Lascaux workable. It changes the value of the pastels very little if at all. The "trick" is to use it lightly. I lay the artwork flat on a piece of cardboard larger than the painting - on the back patio or outside upper deck so I'm not spraying fumes in the house. Starting in the upper left hand corner and just off the end of the paper (over the cardboard) I hold the can about 8 - 10 inches above the work and use a continuous spray back and forth - always going off the end and onto the cardboard. I do this very quickly so there is just a light layer of spray. I count to 15 and turn it a quarter turn and do it again. I repeat this all the way around the painting so that every angle has an opportunity to be covered with spray - very light spray! You do not want it to ever look wet. Getting the particles obviously wet is what dulls the image. The reason to start and stop off the edge of the artwork is to prevent drips from landing on the painting. Lascaux is one of the fixatives that has a better spray system, but even it may occassionally drip. Drips = wet spots!

Hope that helps you.

Peggy

CalArtist
11-03-2009, 07:40 PM
Hi, I just want to repeat here, that when I travel, or when I don't have anything else around, I use 'freezer paper', shiny side touching the pastel painting, taped to whichever board you use (foam, Masonite, etc.). I can then tape over the first painting/freezer paper package, with several other paintings. I have used this for years with good affect. Only tiny amounts of dust come off the painting, and the paper doesn't seem to smear the painting at all.

I don't know the economics of this vs. glassine, but as a strategy, or in a pinch, I find this works, and you can find the freezer paper most anywhere.

CalArtist
11-03-2009, 07:42 PM
Peggy, I've used the Lascaux. Sometimes, it spatters and leaves definite spray drops on my paintings. Do you know if this is because the valve was not sprayed-out enough by turning the can upside-down and spraying just the gas after each use, or is there something I don't know about using the spray?

thanks