Buying Art on Vacation

Saturday April 3, 2010

Hi again, I want to give you some more tips about buying art while on vacation. There are basically three types of art we have coming in from vacation trips.

The first type is art purchased from galleries then professionally packaged and shipped. This type of art usually just needs a new frame to match the existing decor or to touch up a damaged frame or slipped picture.

The second and more typical art are what I like to call memory makers. This art whether a painting or print evokes a memory of the place.  This type of art, “by U.S. standards”, is usually on low grade materials. Some examples we have seen are gorgeous paintings done on bedsheets, paintings with no margins to stretch them onto stretcher strips, paintings stretched on boards from old shipping crates. All of these problems can, to some degree, be resolved when we go to frame them. We also see prints on low grade acidic paper, matted with acidic mats and taped or glued directly to the mat board. We can replace mats and backing with better longer lasting materials, but there is some risk with removal from the old material. How much risk depends on how the art was attached.  In some cases, with better materials we can slow down the process by which the paper art self destructs. Saving or slowing down the damage to art work usually becomes a mater of value. Not just the monetary value of the art its self, but the emotional value of these memory makers. Are heroic measures called for to save a print purchased at a Parisian street fair? I would say it depends of the value of the memory that it brings to mind when you view the art.

The third type of art that comes in to the shop is cruise art. This is art purchased on ships outside U.S. waters and can be of dubious value. If you like the art for its beauty and memory of the cruise – wonderful. If you are buying it as an investment to appreciate in value then be very careful as authenticating it while at an auction on a cruise is very difficult.

We love to see your art from foreign lands and hear the stories about it and your trips.

Thats all for now.

Vacation Time

Thursday February 25, 2010

Well, it’s a dreary winter’s day and thoughts drift to warm climes for vacation.  We love seeing art brought back from all over the world.  Today I want to talk about oil or acrylic paintings.  We are often asked, “What’s a good way to bring the artwork back to CT in one piece?”   You see a beautiful oil painting in a market stall or gallery and just have to have it.  If it is stretched on bars then you have this unwieldy piece of art to get back on the ship or plane and then through the airport (not fun).  What needs to be done is to have the painting taken off the bars and rolled.  Find a large diameter tube and place the painting FACE DOWN on a large plastic bag.  Then slowly roll the painting around the tube with the PAINT SIDE OUT and then wrap a protective layer of paper and more plastic around the entire assembly.  Why wrap paint side out. The paint layer has very little “give” to it and tolerates the stretching much better than being compressed by rolling it with the paint layer on the inside.   The following picture is an example of the type of cracking that can occur from improper handling of canvases.

What happens to a canvas that is not handled correctly.
What happens to a canvas that is not handled correctly.

The cracking will never go away and eventually the paint may start to flake off.  Over- stretching to try and pull out the wrinkles will make the problem worse.  A painting conservator that we use can fix this, but prevention is much better.

Here is a link to a Boston Globe article / video on rolling and stretching a really large canvas.  MFA Boston Video

Next time I’ll talk about buying canvases from third world countries.


Saturday February 13, 2010

Hi everybody. I know most of you have talked Alice or me at the shop or around town. Let me tell you a little about my background (Alice will chime in later). I have a B.S. in Graphic Design and for a short time ran my own design studio. Then I started selling my art work full-time up and down the east coast. At one of the shows a picture frame wholesaler approached me to buy frames. As I was using a lot of frames I found out that if I bought even more I could sell them to other artists at the shows. I started doing this and expanded into a full retail showroom on the 2nd floor of a factory building on Main St. in Farmington. We out grew that space in about 2 years and moved to 346 Scott Swamp Rd. in July of 1980. Our current showroom is the fourth remake in those 30 years and I think it looks the best of all of them.

A cosy place to chat.

Framing counter in rear of gallery

Thats all for now and we hope to see you soon.