Monday, November 17, 2008

More Glassless Framing Experiments

Pastel Experiment

I've played around a bit more with the glassless framing and pretty much combined advice from several sources to try to find a method that would suit me and my way of working.

I like the idea of using the Golden materials as suggested by Gary Ruuska but dragging out all the air brush paraphernalia and the air compressor (which is actually my husbands and is noisy and bigger than I like) just isn't my idea of fun. The Golden products have UV protectants in them though and I do like that so I used the Preval sprayer per the directions in the email from Bob Palmerton. That sprayer is the cat's pajamas for the small amount of spraying that I'm doing. It's easily found in automotive parts or hardware stores or can be ordered online. It's not expensive at all and a canister of propellant seems to last and last. The spray is fine enough to give a nice finish to the art work too.

Since I have messed up so many Ampersand Pastelbord panels (and Ampersand isn't backing my experiments!), I decided to do my experimenting on regular matboard pieces and that seems to be working out well. The flower above is on a dark green matboard and I want to try a light color just to see if the colors darken as much when sprayed. BTW, the colors shown are pretty much the colors I ended up with after spraying. They darkened considerably and I did use progressively lighter colors but ran out of lighter colors that would work.

Teresa Mallen left a comment on my last post here and I wanted to reassure her about the Lascaux fixative and suggest she talk to Nicole Caulfield about it on colored pencil. I use pastel pencils for the most part which are water soluable to begin with. Colored pencil has wax or oil which would resist moisture plus, I read that Nicole uses a blender on top of colors that tend to change color or melt which preserves the color when sprayed. I may try that on top of my pastels just to see if it helps.

But, actually, right now, I think the process is much too long and too much trouble to make it worthwhile for pastels. Maybe in the future some product will come along that doesn't darken the pastel but will still seal it so that the art can be varnished and framed without glass.

As it is, I'm doing a pastel painting, spraying it with the diluted Golden Soft Gel as an isolation barrier, letting that dry then going back over the darkened areas with a lighter color (if I have one), respraying, letting that layer dry & on & on until I have a painting I'm satisfied with. Perhaps a landscape would be different as color changes maybe wouldn't be as obvious, but people expect their pet to have the correct color. Maybe at some point, I'll automatically know the light color with which to replace the color that darkens and avoid the back and forth of using progressively lighter colors. But, I wonder too if the build up is necessary to end up with the right color?

I'm not giving up entirely. I'll continue to experiment since I have all the necessary mediums to do so but I'm just not holding my breath that there will be a huge break-through in this area anytime soon.

Again, if anyone has any information about varnishing pastels, please feel free to contact me!


Larry Hartfield said...

Jan when you are sealing your painting you need to remember that all UV coatings eventually quit providing any protection. Some last longer than other, but non last for ever. That is one problem with not using glass because the UV proof glass stays that way.

Jan said...

Hi Larry! It's so nice of you to stop by.

I did know that the UV protection in aerosol sprays didn't provide the protection that artists thought they did. I was given to understand that the Golden products gave substantially more protection though.

I'll definitely check into it more (where did you get your information?)and make some decisions. I also know that an isolation barrier is used so that the varnish can be removed without harming the painting so maybe that's to replace the varnish as better products come onto the market.

Also, the people I sell to don't often use UV glass in framing even though I suggest it. That is one of the main reasons I'm investigating this glassless framing. It's gotta be better than regular glass!

Anyway, hope you pop back in again!

Thanks for your input!