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Old 12-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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Temptation of pastel work

I love working with pastels, but they rarely sell. Prints sell, so I am tempted to destroy my originals after getting a good digital image, because I just cannot store them. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:08 PM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Don't know your situation regarding storage space - closets, basements, attics, etc., but I rarely throw away a painting (unless it is really a stinker!). I would give them away to friends, family, co-workers before I would throw them away, but that is just me. My pastels are mostly on paper covered with a sheet of tracing paper and then stored in portfolios, so they take up considerably less room than my paintings on canvas, for example. But certainly a lifetime of painting can certainly cause storage space issues! It's really your decision, but once thrown away, they are gone forever. If you decide to toss them, please make sure you keep multiple copies of the digital images on various backup media. An electronic "image" only exists as long as the storage media works and the technology is available.

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Old 12-10-2019, 05:32 PM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

The thing is that nobody wants to be bothered with the fragility of pastels. The added complexity of framing, etc. I have framed a few and it is not all that difficult, but I have also dropped one and had to open it back up, clean up the mess (even with the extra space), and put it back together. Nothing broke, just pastel dust everywhere. I have used fixative, but it is not a total solution.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:17 PM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

I am selling more and more. Partly because I make sure I "sell the advantages" of pastel paintings. Such as: pastel is the most stable painting medium...it wont yellow or crack ..unlike many old oil paintings. Being behind glass can be a good thing as the artwork will not be contaminated with dust or other air born contaminates. Pastels are not "that" fragile. As long as you dont swipe your hand and smear. I had a pastel painting that I was working on that came loose from my wall mount easel, fell down, hit the shelf below where the painting was attached, then flipped over and fell face down on carpet remnant on floor. No damage except some minor scratches across pastel pigment which was easy peasy to fix! If this was fresh oil, it would probably be ruined and contaminated full of carpet fuzzies!

There are a good variety of acrylic glass for framing if breakage is of concern. I frame without mats to save costs of mats and having to use larger frames to accommodate the matting.
I would save originals. You can tape them on foam core, then cover tightly with clear plastic (comes in rolls like Christmas wrapping, made for gift baskets, cant remember exact name of stuff)....then you can just stack your paintings and be able to see them and let potential buyers see and handle them and they are protected from smearing until time to frame. If your painting is on a board of some kind, you can just cover tightly with the plastic without needing to tape to foamcore.

Ideas...something to think about....but I think we pastel artist need to stop thinking that pastel are inferior or in some way sub-par and not able to sell compared to other mediums. We need to be confident salespeople an inform buyers of the advantages of pastel!
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:00 AM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

You mentioned the acrylic for framing, Ron. Just wondering.... do you have a link to a supply source with reasonable prices? Do you use spacers, or use the passe partout method?
I store my pastels in Krystal Clear bags, but I understand they can also be stored between sheets of glycine paper.
I have sold oil and acrylic paintings... but I haven't even attempted to sell pastels, as I am a relative newbie and still learning.
I like your thoughts on becoming "confident salespeople" regarding pastel works.
Beautiful paintings on your Web site, Ginny!
Mike
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:59 AM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Storage, handling and framing have been an eye-opener for me since branching out into pastels. Frankly, it is the glazing that's the worst part.

First, a couple of items I've learned: acrylic glazing apparently may interact with pastel via static electricity in some deleterious way (and it looks like crap on pastel IME), and you CAN safely glaze directly to the glass if done properly, despite many framers being addicted to matting.

So what I keep running into is that ordinary glass takes away from the vibrancy (not just increasing contrast and dulling clarity) of pastels. It seems to take the more expensive forms of non-reflective special glass to do them justice, not necessarily the top level, but certainly the UV70 type stuff at least. And that has been working well for me so far. It's just very expensive!

I've become interested in that brand new Spectrafix Natural Glass fixative product. Waiting to get some and try it instead of glazing altogether, and hoping more WC folks will post their actual experience before committing to it.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

I do not use acrylic, I use regular glass and have never had a problem with it. I do not like having to use mats all the time, so I am going to try to frame a few pieces by sandwiching them with the glass and see how that works. Storage is an issue for me. I guess I will bite the bullet and try to stack some with glassine in between. Would regular old waxed paper work, also?
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:06 AM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Ginny, I would be afraid of using wax paper to cover and store pastels. I don't have central air in my house and heat and humidity are definitely a factor. I used wax paper this past summer to press and store a few leaves for a printmaking project. I had books on top to help flatten them. The wax paper prevented all the moisture from the leaves and surrounding air from escaping and I ended up with a bunch of fuzzy, moldy leaves. That would not be good for any work of art on paper! I use glassine to cover any paintings that might possibly be framed someday and tracing paper for all the rest. Actually, most of mine are covered by tracing paper and so far so good.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:59 AM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humburger
I do not use acrylic, I use regular glass and have never had a problem with it. I do not like having to use mats all the time, so I am going to try to frame a few pieces by sandwiching them with the glass and see how that works. Storage is an issue for me. I guess I will bite the bullet and try to stack some with glassine in between. Would regular old waxed paper work, also?
For a quick thing I have made envelopes of wax paper for transport. I do see some rub off if it gets pressed. I'm told that regular art tracing paper also works, but can't vouch for that.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:34 PM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by franglais
You mentioned the acrylic for framing, Ron. Just wondering.... do you have a link to a supply source with reasonable prices? Do you use spacers, or use the passe partout method?
Mike




Sorry it took so long to get back
I have been just using local Hob Lob store for acrylic. But just recently ordered some from another online place. I will find out in a week or so how that goes, but this online place did have more options for types of acrylic.


I began framing pastels using mats because I thought that just the way it was. Now I dont hardly ever use mats.


Then I used primarily spacers (no mats) using regular or museum glass. I tried spacer once with acrylic, but the static just kept pulling pastel pigment from painting onto inside of glass, so I vowed to never do that again.


Now I frame mostly directly against the glass using anti reflective acrylic, which they say is best when artwork is directly against the glass. Sometimes I may use museum glass. Now I have advantage of no mats, and dont have to worry about loose pastel getting on inside of glass or contaminating mats!!
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Temptation of pastel work

Thank you, Ron! I truly did not know that Hobby Lobby carried acrylic sheets to use for framing. I will have to check that out at my local store. And if you are pleased with what you ordered from the new site, please share. I did watercolor long ago and matted everything. But I much prefer framing without mats. I will never have to worry about meeting the requirements of a competition by NOT framing directly against the glass, as I paint for my own pleasure. Nice to know the anti-reflective acrylic works well, as I'm sure it must be less expensive than museum glass!
Best wishes!
Mike
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