Thursday, March 24, 2022

March 2022

 How to safely store your artwork

You 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.

Over 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. 

I do 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.

My recommendation

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.

Also I would suggest purchasing some Acid-Free Interleaving Tissue Paper to place between each piece to keep things as pristine as possible.

Lastly, I would also suggest you create a list of what's inside. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go through my storage containers to find what I want.

What's coming up in April?

Drawing Flowers in Colored Pencil

Hope you have a wonderful Spring!

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