Storing Paintings

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  1. #1
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    Storing Paintings

    Hi all,

    For those of you who paint in oil, how do you store old paintings? I painted on gallery-wrapped canvases and continue the painting on the sides of the canvases (That way, a client can just hang the piece, if they don't want to purchase a frame for it). Since I sell my paintings at art shows/craft fairs and I have 8 shows coming up this fall (including a gallery showing in the winter), I need a location to store my inventory for the shows. This means that I've got a lot more paintings that won't fit on my walls.

    Now, the paintings that I would store are already varnished. My basic procedure is to do the painting, lay it flat for a couple of weeks (so that it get's to the dried/tacky state), then hang it on my wall to finish the drying process. After 4 - 6 months, I then varnish it (I use thin layers).

    Dougie

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  3. #2
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    Hmmm...mine are usually dry within a few days at most and I spray them with Kamar varnish - let that dry a few hours and shelve them. But I don't work very large and I work on panel usually.

    What would Caravaggio do?
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  4. #3
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    Retouch varnish then those canvas separator double sided tacks?

    That should allow the varnished paintings some airflow and you should be able to store loads of them in a smallish area?

    Use the tacks on the edges that will normally be obscured by the frame rabbet.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by That fat kid View Post
    I lean all my paintings with the faces against the wall and try to avoid tripping over them.
    I can't touch the walls so I've lined most of a room with leftover moving house boxes, most of the floor is newspaper.

    It's a bit of a "wet paint" minefield.
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    Edit: stretched canvas lives in that box on the left..

    Last edited by Flake; April 1st, 2011 at 12:06 PM.
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  6. #5
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    Thanks for all of the comments. I like the idea of the metal/plastic shelves. I also hadn't thought about making sure that there's airflow around the painting.

    I think that I'm going to get some plastic shelves from Walmart (they're pretty cheap), line the bottom of them with wax paper, then put the paintings on it (back-to-back) with a card-board piece (lined with wax paper on each side). That should give me enough storage room to store a lot of paintings (granted it would be better if they sell quickly, but can't have everything).

    Dougie

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by That fat kid View Post
    . . . And I try to angle the paintings so only a corner is touching.
    I try to do exactly the opposite and make sure both top corners are touching the wall equally, otherwise the canvas/board/whatever inevitably warps.

    (Well, I suppose below a certain size they may be stiff enough not to, but I rarely work on anything small enough for that malarkey.)

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  8. #7
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    Hello T.F.K., yes I'm still here and in fact never stopped lurking, enamoured as I still am with concept art in general despite my own paintings veering much more toward "fine art" instead.

    And 7" x 5"? Blimey, I'm not sure I even have brushes that small! Joking aside I have recently begun painting on 12" x 8" panels and have yet to get over the claustrophobia with those...

    To the topic at hand though you are right, something both that small and that (relatively) thick is never in eons going to warp lent up by just a lone corner on the wall.

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