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Art Maintenance Advise

For many of us art is an important part of our decor, and some consider art as a worthy investment. Regardless of how you see art, restoring and preserving art pieces is important in order to maintain their beauty and value. Painting restoration is a serious matter; that is why most people prefer to have their paintings professionally restored. However, if you like the thought of restoring your own pieces, lots of practice and familiarity with techniques are necessary. According to statistics, more paintings and art works are destroyed each year by inept restoration and cleaning than by accidental burning or fire. Clouded varnish, dirt, and smoke are the usual culprits that cause paintings to become dirty. Restoring paintings by cleaning it is the logical step of most owners. However, wiping paintings with rags or some sort of liquid is damaging. Art restoration professionals recommend researching restoration techniques on the internet or attending seminars on restoring paintings before embarking on a restoration mission. Art works look more elegant and classic when preserved in their original frames. As it is, detaching paintings from their frames is necessary and important before the actual cleaning. Non-removal of the frames not only causes discomfort and unease in cleaning, it also causes scratches and abrasion. Remove the frames by laying the picture backside up on a flat surface layered with foam or cushion to avoid scratching the frames. Vacuum accumulated dust on the frames' back and remove nails gently with a metal ruler and pliers. Secure the nails on board with labels of their previous positions. For example, secure and label the nails plucked from the lower right side of the frame as "lower right". This way, each nail fits exactly on its previous place without causing added strain on the frame. Marking the frame is also a good idea to be able to return it to its original position. After removing paintings from their frame, it's a good idea to inspect the kind of dirt build-up on the paintings. Knowing the kind of dirt to be removed is necessary in finding and using the right product and tools. Anti-mildew solutions remove mildew build-up or "foxing" effectively. However, soaking the painting in these solutions damages the colors. To prevent this, soak or spray the solution on a cotton pad and wipe on the area affected with foxing. Follow up with a water-dipped cotton pad and wipe dry. Periodically check cotton pads to see if some color or paint was dissolved. For dirt build-up that requires light to medium cleaning, try slicing an onion in half and dipping it in lemon juice. Then, remove grime and dirt off the art work. Rub paintings with lemon-soaked onion using a circular motion for even application. Slice the onion regularly to expose a fresh layer. An alternative is using warm water with lemon detergent or washing soda. Finish either treatment by wiping the painting with a moist sponge and leaving it to dry. Art works respond to this treatment with improved depth of color. Experts recommend leaving varnish removal and painting repair to the professionals. Art works do not sell well or look good if extensively damaged. As these types of restoration require complicated techniques, the chances of botching the job are high if done by amateurs. The job is expensive but make the value of your paintings appreciate. You love your paintings, and if you maintain them right, you will continue to love them for many years to come.


Let’s Get Savvy - Art Savvy

Want to sound like someone that is a least a little art savvy? Make sure you don't use the following common art "faux pas." 1. Using the word "seriagraph" - Actually, there is no such thing as a seriagraph. What you are attempting to reference is a form of printmaking known as a serigraph. To be correct, you may refer to a "screenprint" or "silkscreen print". 2. Using the word "sketches" - Those who are knowledgeable about art use the term "drawings" instead of sketches. 3. Using the word "picture" - The word picture suggests an item that is more decorative in nature, while the word "painting" denotes a valuable work of art. The word decorative tends to be used as a put down when commenting on the desirability of a work of art, somewhat akin to the word "interesting". 4. Using the words "it's just a print" - There have been prints that have sold for several hundred thousand dollars. For example, works by Mary Cassatt, Pablo Picasso, Hokusai, and Sharaku. Aside from value, some artists did not create paintings, so their entire form of expression used printmaking. Sometimes effects achieved with printmaking cannot be accomplished with painting or drawing directly. If you meant "just a reproduction or a reproductive print", then you are commenting on a photograph of an existing artwork, which does not constitute an original work of art. This is entirely proper. 5. Falling into the "art trap" - Whenever you are asked what you think about a painting, check to see if there are similar paintings in the room before responding. A family member or close friend may be the proud artist. This is what I call the "art trap." A sharp observer will recognize that each piece is signed with the same name. Find something positive to say. Life in the art lane can be treacherous, but it is just like functioning as an expert witness. Think before you speak.


The Art of Framing Art

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. But, what about picture frames? The main function of a picture or photo frame is to protect and highlight the content it holds. But, an equally important function is to accent the picture inside. A beautiful work of art can be made to look drab by framing it improperly, or using wrong materials. Similarly an excellent frame can definitely enhance the beauty of the picture it holds. There are frames, and there are frames. To select which is most suitable for the picture or photograph that you have in mind is not always an easy task. A poor choice could cost you the contented feeling you get when you look at a work of art. Occasionally, pictures are abnormal in size so you need custom picture frames which are quite expensive. To complement the picture, to get a perfect look and merge with ambience of the room where the picture is display one should be willing to commission a professional to build the perfect frame. Picture and photo frames of standard sizes are not expensive and they can be bought from your neighborhood store. To suit our individual style and also to enhance the quality of the pictures, care should be taken to incorporate these factors when we selecting picture or photo frames. Picture frames come in hundreds of colors, different shapes and a wide variety of materials which will complement the decor of whatever room they find themselves in. Photo frames are made of pewter, stainless, ceramics, composites and crystal. Your budget is the first criteria to select the best available design and material. Picture frames can be artful in their own right with wide borders, bright and bold color, but try to avoid a picture frame which overwhelms the image it carries. For the contemporary home select metal frames in darker shades such as black, copper, gold or silver. To get a Mediterranean style select bold white frames. To create an antique Victorian look ornate gilded frames are the best choice to highlight beautiful art and special prints. The children's room will get a youthful atmosphere by using plastic frames in vivid colours. Avoid metal frames to encase valuable pieces of art. They are priced moderately and sold as kits with their backs open. This makes the contents exposed to dust and moisture. With proper tools and after little practice you can make your own wooden picture frames and it is a correct choice for original arts, limited edition prints and other valuable photos. Whatever frame you choose for your picture or piece of art, just be sure to stop and think first. Try to visualize it in your home, and you are sure to come away with a winner.


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