I’ve never been one to take care of my things. I studied Buddhism in high school and developed a certain nonchalance to possessions; mostly because it coincided with my general carelessness. And I had a friend in art class in high school who would flip out if any of her paintings got scratched and I thought it was cool just not to care….
But now that my art is in galleries, nice galleries, and SELLING (people are actually giving away their money in exchange for my paintings) having scratched up, dented or mishandled paintings is just tacky, thoughtless and rude.
The problem is that, especially for really big paintings on canvas, it’s just so hard to protect them. This is what I do: which doesn’t WORK!
How not to treat your artwork:
1) Rush them for exhibitions, slap on a coat of varnish, throw them all together in a truck with no padding or anything.
2) Keep your room dirty so dirt and hair and dust will stick to the paintings forever.
3) If necessary, throw a plastic garbage bag around each painting: especially if the varnish is still wet so it will stick.
4) Carry them 3 or 4 at a time so they are too heavy, crack them into the walls and ceiling.
5) Lean them up against the wall, so the smaller paintings will indent the larger paintings.
Ok, OK – most of you are probably not as bad as I am….
Canvases do pose unique challenges however, even if I weren’t a slob. If you live in hot or humid area, the paint will stick to any bubble wrap or plastic wrapping you use.
The BEST way to handle/ship your canvases is :
1) Go to the post office/shipping office. Get cardboard boxes that pretty much fit the frame. Put the painting inside, wrapped in a thick cloth like a towel.
2) Bubble wrap the entire thing really well. Wrap each painting separately. Make sure paint/varnish is super dry – and even so, this may not work in a very humid area.
3) Remember – how you treat your canvases is a big part of how much they are WORTH. Paying a couple hundred dollars to do it right may dramatically increase the value of your paintings.