Author: Cyndie

Caring for your painting

How should you care for your painting after conservation treatment? Here are some important points to consider when you take your artwork home to enjoy. V-shaped hangers are available in a variety of weight capacity ratings and are safe for most artworks. Very heavy works or works hung on stone or masonry surfaces require special…
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Marks and labels

Inscriptions, Monograms, Stamps and Labels Fascinatingdetails of a painting’s history and provenance may be found on the reverse side.  Examples include gallery labels, titles and dates, and owner and artist inscriptions including signatures. These details must be preserved in order to maintain context and value. This was all that remained of an exhibition label peeling…
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Protecting your artwork

Protective glazing Works of art on paper should always be framed with protective glazing (glass or acrylic e.g. “Plexiglas”), which must be held off the surface of the artwork. Typically this is accomplished with a mat board “window,” which also has an aesthetic function. Many people are surprised to learn that even oil paintings benefit from protective…
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Conservation framing

Thoughtful selection of framing materials will enhance an artwork’s protection as well as its appearance. The smallest details can have a significant impact on short and long term preservation. An enormous variety of high quality materials and mouldings are now available to create exciting combinations with visual impact. Securement Many works arrive in my studio…
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Portrait of John Willison Hutton—a case study

As I discussed in a previous post, oil paint ages, becoming more brittle and less able to accommodate movement and distortions in the support. The physical properties of each material layer vary with changes of temperature and relative humidity. Since each layer responds differently, stress occurs and damage may result. The ancestral portrait of John Willison…
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Common problems

Paintings are layered structures. Identification and characterization of all component layers of a painting is the essence of the examination process. This analysis informs treatment possibilities and is critical to the work’s long-term preservation plan. The primary support refers to the image-bearing surface (e.g. canvas, wood panel) but there may also be an auxiliary support that…
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Back to Alberta

Engaging the services of out-of-town conservators is not unusual – art conservation is not a strip-mall service and, even in major cities, conservators are not a dime-a-dozen lot. When I moved to Vancouver Island in 2015, I hadn’t anticipated the strong draw my home province would continue to exert, or the flow of conservation projects…
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Les coulisses de la restauration

For 30 years, I’ve collected stories about my conservation work and the storied people and artworks I’ve had the privilege to come across. Check back here regularly to read about conservation treatment, research and news, for a behind-the-scenes (dans les coulisses) look at this historic and critical métier. Let the stories begin!