Vacation Time

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.


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