"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trying Not to Destroy A Work of Art

This morning I took courage and tackled the opening of the frame and retrieval of the pastel so that I could fix the area that had smeared a little. Like some of you commented, the blurring effect didn't bother me really but the client was very upset about it and I do want her to be happy. Below is my sequence of art restoration:-) I am not an expert, and please, Don't Try This At Home unless you are prepared for possible consequences (like ruining the whole thing).

Oh, for those who asked, the piece is titled "Possession of a LyreBird".

Facing the problem.

Slicing through the glue holding the backing on.

Didn't slice neatly (can you tell?)

All those metal clips have to be bent up or removed.

Success getting it out! Left the mat and glass in place.

Corrections were so minor it felt like a crime to open this thing.

Tested the spray on a scrap first...now for the actual art.

A bit of blobbing but very lightly sprayed a couple of thin layers - one spot went right through the paper and left a slight stain. I was afraid of that. I have been able to sort of cover it with some pastel tone - it was on the background paper colour but I'm not pleased that it happened. This why I usually DO NOT use spray fix.

Attempts to cover it are not perfect. Struggle, struggle. Erase. Try new colour.

Not bad I guess, but I do feel that the original integrity is slightly blemished. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it so have to let it go and hope the client is ok with it.

Now back into the frame. The client will have to take it back to the framer to redo the backing. I'm not touching it!


  1. You must have been holding your breath while working on this, Karen. Wonderful job! You are sooooo brave. :)
    Carol B.

  2. Now I understand why you aren't a fan of the fixative! Still and yet, a masterful job and I was intrigued to see how you fixed the smearing.

  3. Hi Karen,
    I had also recently opened a client's paintings for some restoration work. Luckily for me, the paintings were ok. Only the mat and glass had water stains and damage.
    I too am afraid to touch up older paintings as you'll never know if the paper would take the new paint well. What you did took guts but it paid off. Thank you for sharing the process.
    Saw your new cast. Hoping for a fast recovery for you, take care.