Buying Art on Vacation

Plus: STORING, MOVING, & CLEANING YOUR FINE ARTS

Let’s talk about packing your Poster or Print to get it Home. Never for a minute forget self-interest on the part of the retailer selling to you. The minute he realizes he is not going to frame it, nor are you likely to be a repeat buyer, his interest in packaging your Art properly drops remarkably, PROBABLY to zero. Ask for it to be packaged flat. A great deal of damage can be done by in-expert hands rolling your Print or Poster. Think about what kind of help a fast shop in a vacation area is likely to hire. Unlikely to be someone with any Art training. They patently do not know about crimps in the Poster or Print. If, they flatly refuse, or that other scenario: you do not want to pay shipping and PREFER to carry it on the plane: ask for the largest diameter tube available. Suggest that you will pay the difference above the use of the skinny little tube they are attempting to roll your lovely Piece into. Their cost on a 6” dia. tube is three bucks. You are not asking for the moon. Don’t be shy. If the Piece got your attention, if it spoke to your Heart, if you like it: Don’t take a chance on the creases that inevitably appear when it is rolled, badly.

Yes, keep in mind… if it is worth buying… it is worth framing, and framing right; right away!!

Okay, no money. You are saying to yourself: “We have no money. Well, not this week, anyway. We have no money for this frivolity. We are not budgeted for the greatest mats and molding in the world, plus that expensive glass you talked about.” I know, I know: Yes, yes, yes, we all have to adhere to our budget.
NEGOTIATE: Maybe, your Framer will do 3 months; same as cash… it never hurts to ask. On that note, ask yourself one question, whenever your friends or family move what is the one thing they always want to take with them? They want to take their Art. It matters. One more thing, clients always say, “well, it’s just a Poster, (or just a Print if you are an Original buyer) I only paid”… pick a number; $15.00, $55.00, $195.00 whatever seems a small expense to you for a cool Piece, that reminds you of your vacations and speaks to your memories, every time you walk by. The inference being, “if I paid so little for it, I should not pay much for the framing.” WRONG! The correct thinking, here, is that you have plenty of budget left because you spent so little on the Piece. If you love it, then, it will truly remind you of that great vacation with your sweetheart, daughter, delightful best friend, whomever. By the way, if your photos are anything like mine, you just might need a Professional’s rendition in depicting memories?? And better, yet, a Professional to frame them to blend with your Home.

 

MOVING YOUR FINE ART

BUDGET: First Aid for frames. This is a fun area, where you can save a little money if you are handy. The best thing, of course, is not to need this skill in the first place. When moving, carefully wrap your framed Pieces … quilted paper from the movers, THEN, right into the back seat of your vehicle, even several trips… if it is a local move. Movers are not, not, up to speed on either how to wrap or how to transport Art. I have seen them forget over & over to tape the glass with masking tape crossways several times. This is imperative. …TAPING USE … while moving your Art. Use Painter’s blue masking tape: Easy on and easier off, no adhesive residue. Think about it; if one wine glass breaks during transport you still have 3 (or 7) left. If, even a tiny break occurs in the glass of your favorite Piece of Art, there is a 99% chance the Print will be damaged, punctured, destroyed!!! Now, the fun starts, in trying to get The Mover to pay you the real value for your Art. Best, you call someone like me before the move, (Certified Appraiser) and get a valuation on all your Fine Arts Pieces. The Print or Original will likely be punctured right through or maybe just scraped by the broken glass. But, it is ruined. You cannot sit on it, it does not heat your home, nor light your space, you cannot eat it… though many say it is food for the soul. So… it has to be perfect… that is what the concept is all about: perfection of appearance. THE WHOLE THING IS GONE: NOT JUST THE GLASS.

 

STORING YOUR ART

This is an excellent time to throw in…. Do not keep Art stored under the bed. It is not doing its job if it is not on view. If you do not like it well enough to frame it, then next time you are invited to a wedding or graduation wrap that ‘puppy’ up delightfully and send it on its way to a new appreciator. You could re-frame it if they have seen it in your House…. That will make you feel like it is new, and that you had spent the appropriate amount of money on them. But, that’s your second choice. If you are never going to like it, but it has value, place it on consignment and sell it. Go out and buy something that ‘connects to your inner voice’ from the proceeds. If you say, “Oh, I can’t choose Art for someone else”; you are splitting hairs. You don’t love the Piece, they might. And, by the way, who says they will love that toaster you purchased for them or the Silver Service? Take a chance: They very well might just love it. This is not fruitcake, right? Something well hated by everyone we know or even know about. It is simply, not your taste. Don’t store it for years. Then you feel as though you cannot buy something new. It is a burden to your mind, there under the bed. Now, we are moving it. Boy what a waste of money that is, when you don’t even like it. Give it away, sell it, or place it on consignment. Free up the block in your mind, which disallows you to purchase something you WILL LOVE!!!

Storing in that expensive Storage Unit, down the street from you. Well, there is this one little problem. If your Fine Art is framed, and the temperature fluctuates within the unit more than 30 degrees annually, you can get moisture under the glass. I hope you understand physics; air becomes water when it is compressed by temperature. As in H20 can be made from air; Hydrogen, Oxygen, & Nitrogen. Listen up, this is real. You will destroy your Art if you store it in non-temperature controlled storage. Big, big problem: Moisture will attach itself to the paper (Print, Original Water Color, or the Mats) and become mildew. There is no way to remove mildew. It is a growth, like fungus; it goes right into the paper. You will devastate your Art. If you have to store it and you can’t drop it off for a few years at Auntie Helen’s House… then you will have to pay for temperature-controlled storage. You cannot have either one: too much cold or too much heat. Sorry, I know this sounds expensive. But, what if you did buy right? What if you do own a great Piece of Art, and the guy/lady dies, or simply becomes famous without passing on. Suddenly your Art is worth 20 times what you paid and going “nowhere, but up!!” Except, of course, if it has mildew in it… so it is valueless… As in zero value. That is a much bigger bummer!!

In this section we cover MOVING YOUR ART. Well, it is a fairly natural transition to “how to repair the frame.” When you try to cut it yourself, unless you use diamond cutters as we do, it is extremely hard to get that nice smooth cut edge without the kind of equipment Framers have. Your abraded edge will look non-professional. I promise, you will never be happy with the appearance of those two corners that you made. Don’t forget, the whole idea of FINE ART is perfection. Unless we have perfection, we do not have Art.

It is a wholly different story with woods. They are glued and nailed, not connected by screws at the corners. Okay, get back to studying the color, under the best light you can obtain. Usually, it is a small scratch or series of scratches… generally not deep. You do not have to contemplate, sanding down and refinishing the entire frame. But, if you do decide to, unframe it completely. You might consider having a Framer re-assemble for you. They are very quick at this when you are standing there with the newly sanded and stained, and varnished frame in one hand and the glass and Print (very carefully, between cardboard) in the other hand. $20 to $40 max, if it is a Standard size Piece. The Framer will blow out the lint with his air gun and use Glass Plus on the inside of the glass before assembly. Things you might easily forget… and they both make a huge difference. One little speck of lint inside and, wham!!, that’s what your eye floats to every time you view your fantastic, lovely newly refinished Piece. What a drag!! Have the Framer re-assemble for you.

Hanging it back up means: You will need two people, one to hold the Piece up to the wall, (MORE, UNDER # VII) probably on a ladder, and the other person to stand AS FAR AWAY as possible, completely on the other side of the room. They will tell you:

1. When you are in the middle of your wall space
2. When you are at the right height,
3. When you hang it on the nail hanger device (which is the next step)
whether it is level!!
4. The last step is to have that helpful person hand you the Glass

Plus while you are still on that ladder and totally clean the glass. Be sure, be sure, and be sure….You use quick tiny sprays of Glass Plus. Too much liquid and it will roll down the glass, under the glass and PERMANENTLY STAIN the mat. Yikes!! Now, it is “replace mats time”. Don’t let that happen to you.
5. Get that great pal of yours to gaze from several different angles to make sure you are deleting ALL the fingerprints.

This is a perfect time to note that you should always hold a large Piece by its’ wire. Best to get in the habit of holding every Piece by its’ wire. Think about it for a moment: Physics tells us that the wire & eye hooks are engineered to hold up the whole Piece. Not smart to hold your Piece by the top molding. One chance in a 1000, you will pop the glass out by the wrong stress to the overall whole. But, why take that chance? The plus here, is that you will minimize those pesky fingerprints. Hold all your Art Pieces by the wire when carrying. . . ALWAYS.

On vacation, while shopping craft shows: Watch…
Maybe they are cheap paper mats. Replace them. In fairness 100% rag mats have been standard for home use only the past 20 years or so. Previously museum quality framing was just that, and quite expensive. Also, many Artists use cheap paper mats . . . because, they are cheap. Replace them; they are damaging your Art.

This chapter is about MOVING YOUR ART. Back to back & face to face. I know that is a simple fact… but everybody in the world does it wrong until they are educated. The hardware on the back of the frame scars the front of the following frame as you are stacking them to move. BE ABSOLUTELY DEADLY CERTAIN, even if they are each in plastic sacks…as they should be, TO STACK THEM…STANDING… IN YOUR CAR BACK TO BACK & FACE TO FACE. That way they will arrive at your new dwelling FINE, just fine!! STANDING?? Why standing the Art in the back seat every time you drive it anywhere? For the same reason that glass trucks drive around town with their Glass standing. Glass will very rarely break if standing. While traveling flat every little bump in the road is a possible catastrophe. ALWAYS STAND YOUR FRAMED Pieces when in a vehicle. Do the movers do that? NO.

Well, in discussing moving, it is a fairly natural transition into how to repair the frame, if you’ve scarred it. Take a good hard look at the color of the frame, under the best light you can muster, for this job. If it is a metal frame, you might get by with nail polish. More likely, go to an auto dealer; they have every color known to metal, go to several different auto dealers. If it is burnished metal pick up some extra fine sandpaper, for after the touch up paint. Worst case, go to your Framer and ask them to replace the damaged leg only. If the Framer says he does not have this style, ask him for the style #. Every style in the universe has a style # and Manufacturer’s Brand name etched into the molding. Get that info, and then phone every Framer in town to find that one piece of molding. You will need several extra inches, longer than the leg itself, to accommodate the miter cut. Don’t let someone tell you that style # is pre-historic, they no longer manufacture that.. Very, very likely… if you call every Framer in town… someone has a stick of it somewhere in their storeroom.

Let’s go to the more likely scenario, one little scratch and maybe a slight abrasion on one corner, or two. Your wife’s eyebrow pencil could be the perfect shade, or a child’s crayon, or different packets of eye shadow that can be coaxed down into the wood with a Q-tip. Maybe, it’s a polished surface, try shoe polish and keep a rubbing rag close by. If it is a deep shade, get the perfect shade of permanent magic marker at an Art Supply store. BUT, BE AWARE it has to be the perfect shade, and permanent means permanent, no matter how quick you are with the rag to minimize your attempt, you probably will not be quick enough. Better to go with standard (non permanent) Magic Marker which you can lighten with a damp cloth, and do several coats to get agreeable coverage. Now, you see, you thought you’d have to re-frame that piece or live with it damaged: not true.

Oh oh, someone broke the glass in the move. Do not try to pull out the shards yourself. When I was brand new in the industry, I watched a young-lady Framer look away for… oh,… a half a minute. The glass dropped, broke and jumped up to slash her lower arm. This was all in 30 seconds. It took hours at the emergency room. Glass is devilish. If you have a breakage on an important Piece of Art, or even an un-important Piece, think of yourself… the best thing you can do is nothing. Take it to the Framer AS IS. Drive it over to the Framer; face down so that gravity is on your side. Hopefully, you will not add to the damage. They will remove the glass, carefully, after dismantling the frame from the back and removing your precious Art, out of harm’s way. Now, is the time to see if the mats are scratched and do the replacement. Might as well pay for this routine ONCE only, rather than notice later that the mats need to be replaced, also.

 

Client References

Ninya, is a Dynamite lady! Good at what ever she does. I loved her book "Well Hung Art". Fantastic Person, I would recommend her highly. ~ Joyce
2014-08-05T18:52:35+00:00
Ninya, is a Dynamite lady! Good at what ever she does. I loved her book "Well Hung Art". Fantastic Person, I would recommend her highly. ~ Joyce

My husband and I are very pleased with the finished restoration of our piece. Ninya did a wonderful job. And she is a delight to work with. ~ Lynne and George
2014-08-05T18:57:57+00:00
My husband and I are very pleased with the finished restoration of our piece. Ninya did a wonderful job. And she is a delight to work with. ~ Lynne and George

Ninya is extremely competent and knowledgeable. Her work demonstrates an uncompromising attention to detail and diligence to her craft. ~ Robert
2014-08-05T18:58:23+00:00
Ninya is extremely competent and knowledgeable. Her work demonstrates an uncompromising attention to detail and diligence to her craft. ~ Robert
... everything you ever wanted to know
about purchasing and hanging your Art
... but were afraid to ask! Fine Arts Appraisals:
To Need or Not To Need One

Read Chapter 8 from my book
"Well Hung Art"