How to safely store your artwork
have put hours and hours into creating your work, be it paintings or drawings.
Not everything can be hung on your walls. You could give away everything you
make or even sell the lot as well. But barring that, you must find a place to
put all your artwork.
20 years ago when I went back to fine art, I simply stuffed everything in
filing cabinets. Not a good idea. First of all, some of my paper yellowed,
rendering it impossible to save. I also didn’t have papers or canvases that
were the right size for the drawers. So, I often just jammed them into the
cabinets. Yup, rather stupid. I was
sloppy and not thinking properly.
things very differently now. For instance, I store all my paintings, especially
those that are framed, in a dry, cool place—usually in an extra closet. Because
I have created a lot of paintings over the years and have literally run out
wall space, I use my “art” closet to do a ‘round robin' of works to put up
occasionally. I don’t necessarily wrap each painting in paper, but I do stack them upright
since that’s the primary position for a painting.
I don’t recommend attics or basements unless they’re finished and don’t go over the temperature of 75° and with a humidity of no higher than 50°. Sunlight is a killer for artwork, so always keep it away from windows, even if the art product says its colorfast. Of course, you want to keep your paintings clean, dusting occasionally.
If you can’t store anything in your house and the only space you have is in the garage, try to keep it cool in the summer and dry in the winter. Use risers or some sort of shelving to keep the artwork off the ground and try avoid making a pile without some sort of archival paper in between.
As for oil pastel paintings never, ever store them in a hot spot (even your car on a hot day). The pastel paint will melt, believe me. It’s happened! One more thing, refrain from using bubble wrap or just plain plastic wrap to cover your paintings. It’s easy to trap moisture or even mold spore inside, causing a bloody mess.
When I’m not
storing my work in my closet, I use two storage items: Archival storage portfolios and/or Archival storage boxes. Both products are easy to store by placing
them in a bookcase. They come in a variety of sizes.