Conservation Step-by-Step 2018-03-10T17:36:34+00:00


Making an appointment

I need to examine your artwork in order to provide you with an assessment of its condition, treatment proposal and cost estimate. You will need to make an appointment to bring your artwork or have it delivered to my studio. The initial appointment usually takes 15-30 minutes. For framing services, more time is required to make framing selections.

First Visit

If you deliver your artwork, we can discuss my initial impressions and treatment approaches in person. If you decide you would like to proceed with the conservation assessment, I will require your signature on the Object Receipt form which outlines the conditions of receipt, and provide a copy for your reference.


You will need to make an appointment to bring your artwork or have it delivered to my studio.

Please ensure your artwork is wrapped and safely secured in your vehicle. It is  best to avoid transportation during temperature extremes. If you cannot transport the artwork yourself, there are couriers specializing in artworks. offers monthly services to various locations throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.


Before treatment

After I have examined your artwork in my studio, I will send you a written examination report, treatment proposal, and cost estimate. The examination report is a detailed description of the component layers of a painting along with any damages and inherent problems. The examination and testing phase is critical to the success of treatment. I may provide more than one treatment proposal for your consideration, and sometimes work may be carried out in separate phases if required for financial reasons.

While client photos can assist in preliminary identification of conservation problems, I cannot assess or quote treatment costs for a work which I have not examined.

Acceptance terms

Treatment is begun with your acceptance of the proposal(s) via email and a down payment of approximately 1/3 the estimate is requested. If you proceed with treatment there is no charge for the initial assessment. Otherwise there is a fee for the examination report, which typically ranges between $100.00 and $300.00 but will be determined upon receipt.

Contracting Services

The Canadian Association for the Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC) and The Canadian Association of Professional Conservators (CAPC) jointly publish a Code of Ethics and Guidance for Practice, which defines treatment principles and guidelines of professional practice. Their publication, “Selecting and Employing a Conservator in Canada” helps clients understand what to expect when contracting the services of a trained, professional conservator.

As a CAPC member (since 2000) I have submitted a portfolio and undergone a stringent peer review process.  I abide by the CAC/CAPC Canadian Code of Ethics and Guidance for Practice.


Insurance coverage is described on the object receipt form, however I recommend discussing off-premises coverage with your insurer. A written appraisal of its value is also recommended.



The main purpose of conservation treatment is to stabilize the artwork and prevent or slow any further deterioration. If artworks have been previously restored, the removal of unsuitable or unsightly materials such as discoloured retouching and overpaint from the object may be desireable. Emphasis is placed on preventive measures which may include framing modification and upgrades. A determination of the probable original appearance of the painting helps guide the treatment program, with the understanding that some changes in appearance are expected.

Structural Work

Structural work is of the highest priority and includes treatments such as consolidation of powdery or flaking paint, the repair of torn canvas, or removal of canvas deformations which endanger the paint layers.

Surface Cleaning

Surface cleaning is a distinct process from varnish removal and is always undertaken separately. Perceived discolouration (darkening, yellowing) may result from accumulated dirt on the surface and/or discolouration of one or more layers of a surface coating.

Sample photos of treatment work are shown under Preservation Basics – Common Problems.


I maintain detailed records of your artwork and its treatment and you will receive a copy of written documentation. In my conservation database “ConServe,”  a unique object number is assigned to each incoming work and object details such as size, medium, provenance, etc. are recorded with a thumbnail photo. Treatment details are also recorded. Safekeeping of the examination and treatment reports is recommended as these records form an important part of your work’s provenance. Digital photographic documentation will be sent to you after treatment via email as JPEG photos.