Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Studio - Then and Now

Way back in March of 2009, I started my first blog. it was called Rita Kirkman's Art Journal, but it wasn't this one. In June of 2011, I had been into the 'Daily Painting' movement for five months, after taking a Carol Marine workshop, and had decided to limit my blog to daily paintings. So I changed the name of my blog to Rita Kirkman's Daily Paintings, and created a new blog with the name Rita Kirkman's Art Journal that would host all the other stuff besides Daily Paintings.

Well, what I'm leading up to is that my very first post on my first blog was some photos of my studio-in-progress:

Here was the pic of my future studio from that post. (More info on the post here.)

Well, 4 years later, I've been reluctant to post photos of the studio, because I have yet to arrange everything to my ultimate satisfaction. I began working in the building in 2012, long before everything was completed.

Here's a shot from move-in week in 2012:

Here's a shot from last week:

This is a panoramic image that shows all four of the walls of my studio; I was standing in the doorway when I took the shots. Along the left wall, I plan to have some french hanging system to hang finished, framed artwork. (Meanwhile, there's a b*#load of stuff just leaning against the wall..) Along the right wall, I have some molding converted to short shelves for unframed work. Here's a better shot:
This is NOT what it looks like today. There's even more clutter along the baseboard and every inch of shelving is filled! But then, I am in the midst of preparing for 2 art fairs and a solo show.

Here's a close-up of where I do my work:

Darn it, this is also an old shot. I know I have more recent shots, but just can't find them! Aarrg! Fie on technology! Well, it looks pretty much the same, but I've been working on larger stuff lately.

Thanks for reading! Please share!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Packing Small Unframed Pastels for Shipping

I'd been meaning to create this post for a while now. I've had these pics since last summer!

Now and then I get asked how I mail unframed pastels and keep them safe. I've actually been sending unframed pastel commissioned portraits for years, most of which are on paper, and matted, usually 16x20. In the case of those, I put a piece of glassine or wax paper between the portrait and the mat, slide that into a Clear Bag, and wrap the whole thing up with plenty of thick cardboard until I have a flat 'box' about 17x21x1. I've never had any arrive damaged.

For the small pastel paintings that I post (almost) daily and auction off, I have a approach that I modified from Carol Marine's method of shipping her small oil paintings. I just add glassine and skip the little tabs that hold the lid off the painting.

NOTE: This method is for paintings that are done on a board, or on paper mounted on a board. The same method can be used for a pastel on paper; just hinge-tape the paper to a backing board, cover with glassine, and follow the rest of the steps...
 First, trim a piece of glassine to the height of the board, and carefully place the painting face down on the waxy side, and tape the glassine to the back.

 Cover with a piece of foam board the same size as the painting (or backing board) and tape it in place.

 Now cut 2 larger pieces of foam board for the top and bottom of your outer package, and some 1/2 inch thick gatorboard for support around these over-sized edges. Tape the gatorboard supports into the edge spaces with double-sided tape.
 (NOTE: If your painting is on the 3/16" gatorboard, and your foam board topper is also the standard 3/16" size, the 1/2" gatorboard supports will be just the right height. If your painting is on 1/2" gatorboard, or some other size, you'll just need to adjust your formula and to build your edge supports the right height to support the lid, without leaving too much wiggle room.)
 Tape the lid in place.

 Now you have a sturdy 'sandwich' with the painting safe inside.
Wrap this sandwich in some small bubble wrap and slide into the mailing envelope!

NOTE: I've since gotten into the habit of ordering the 9.5" x 12.5" sturdy Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes, and use those for all 5x7's and 6x6's, and if I make the sandwich edges narrow enough, even the 6x8's will fit. I also purchased a roll of the slightly-sticky bubble wrap, the kind that will wrap around an object and hold on! I love it!

If you're shipping a larger unframed pastel painting, I would follow all these same steps, but I'd use the large bubble wrap instead of the small and then wrap in cardboard. OR make an investment in some Airfloat Printpads. They're designed to protect and would probably last through a few uses.

Let me know if this is helpful!
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