By OCinSite At-Large | May 27, 2011 12:55 PM
Paul Lauritz “Laguna Canyon”
Photos by Jody Tiongco | Laguna Beach Magazine, June 2011
Laguna Beach Magazine recently caught up with two gallery owners/directors to ask them how to best care for a painting, sculpture or work of mixed media.
Associate Director, Skylab Modern Art
For any piece, direct sunlight is not good for a painting, so if it’s at a place in your house where it gets sunlight, you can rotate it with other pieces.
From what I’ve learned from artists and how they take care of and transport things—all of them have different levels of precaution—sometimes you may notice a canvas painting has been stretched over time or say you leave it outside, depending on the humidity, it could start to sag or not be as tight on the frame. I’ve heard to spray a bit of water on the back of the canvas and as it dries it will tighten it up. So, that’s actually something that some of our artists do.
Artists who used mixed media and incorporate pieces of paper or other types of materials—you want to keep those in a less dry, more humid place, because some of the paper would be able to peel off or separate from the actual canvas.
Our signature artist, Andy Anh Ha, finishes all his pieces with resin and it’s actually very easy to take care of. You could almost spray it with Windex and wipe it off. We don’t recommend that, but any type of dust cloth that you have would be perfect for it. Even if it was just a little bit damp it would get a lot of the dust off. So, with the resin pieces, just wipe it off and clear the fingerprints.
We’ve had a lot of people who have asked him and ask us if he’d be open to doing any outdoor art, something that would actually be displayed in a covered patio or outside by your pool, because his pieces are resin they’re pretty much weatherproof or waterproof. All he’d have to do is put some resin outside on the frame and it’s pretty much good to go outside.
Richard MacDonald Jr.
Owner, Dawson Cole Fine Art
For sculptures, we provide a list of care tips. There’s not a whole lot you have to do, but we do have a waxing kit—it comes with a soft cloth and a wax.
We have different mediums too, like bronze, of course. Some people have Lucite pieces, and we also have a resin material and we just use Ivory soap to keep the oil off.
If you’re going outdoors, that’s a whole other issue because the elements will age bronze, color the bronze and color the base, or eat away at any soft material like a marble. So, anything that’s displayed outdoors we always recommend using granite. It’s impervious to water, rain and the elements.
We also have a material called Incralac and if we know that the client is displaying outdoors, we will treat that with Incralac. If it’s in the desert or near the ocean, displayed outdoors, the Incralac will protect it so it will not age like a regular patina. Bronze is a material that will change color with the elements—it oxidizes—so we cannot necessarily stop it, but we can significantly slow it down with this special process.
We’ve done a test out in our garden where we’ve had one displayed without any coating and the other displayed with the coating, and it’s night and day. You can really see it.
The Incralac must be done before the wax. That’s the key. If the sculpture’s already been waxed you can’t put the coating on it. You have to actually strip the coating, burn the patina off, re-patina the piece—it’s an involved process. Then, once you re-patina the piece, then you put the coating on—then you can wax it.
If you have a piece indoors and it changes over time, the patina is actually like a fine wine. It actually gets better with age. The patina will darken. If you look at some of the Degas pieces, they used to have a light pastel when they were first done, but that pastel has been knocked back now and it’s actually almost antiqued. You could not reproduce that if you tried. In my opinion, it’s much more valuable. If it’s aged and it’s weathered, it’s just like it has been damaged—it’s like a faded print or a torn canvas. It’s going to be difficult to resell, costly to repair—the value will never be the same. Selling damaged art or aged art is not easy.