How to Correctly Store Your Art

Ideally none of us ever want to store art. Art is for being looked at, it should be framed and on display, that’s its purpose. However, sometimes we need to put it away for a little while. Maybe because you don’t have anywhere to display it right now, maybe because you’re holding on to it while you’re waiting to pass it on to someone who can store it. Whatever the reason, storing art is a business that needs to be done carefully. After all, the worst thing in the world would be to finally remove the art from storage and find it wasn’t in the mint condition it was in when you put it away. With that in mind, pay close attention to these crucial tips.

Carrying the Painting

The first thing you need to do when you store your painting is get to the place you’re going to be storing it. This is when it’s at its most vulnerable, so you need to take extra care. Carry only one painting at a time – it’s tempting to save time by moving paintings in stacks, but the accumulated weight can cause damage, and the movement could risk denting or scratching the paint or frames. If you’re moving a large painting, make sure there are at least two of you to do so, and that all of you have clean hands and preferably clean cotton gloves to keep your fingerprints off it. You’ll also want to take off any jewellery or watches, as they have sharp edges that shouldn’t be anywhere near a valuable painting.

When carrying the paintings, lift them with one hand at each side, don’t try lifting them from the top, and try to avoid touching the painted surface.

Finding the Right Storage Space

Where you store your paintings is as important as how you store them. Don’t put them in cellars or attics, which are likely to be either too dry or two damp, both conditions which have ways of messin up paint. You want somewhere with an adequate and consistent temperature, and a dehumidifier if necessary. If you need to store the paintings on top of or against each other, give them plenty of padding, and keep them off any concrete floors which are like sponges for the damp, and will happily leak that into the painting.

Long Storage

If you’re going to be storing paintings for a long time you’ll want to find some acid free paper or board to store them with, and keep them on a flat surface. Make sure the each painting is covered with a clean, dry cloth.

Come back to check on the paintings regularly, once a year you should take them out to give them a good airing and prevent mould and humidity from building up. Keep the temperature as consistent as possible, if temperatures and humidity vary too much the canvas can become slack in the frame at high humidity, and tightened at low humidity. With a lot of change you can end up with flakey and cracked paint, an absolute disaster. Ideally you want 55% humidity, 21 degrees Celsius. Any more than 70% and mould can develop, at which point you need professional help.

Finally, keep them away from sunlight, or the paint can fade.

Sam Wright is a freelance writer and art lover. He works with Eversley Storage.

Inspiration for Affordable Art around the Home

Andy WarholArt collecting has generally been construed as an elitist pastime, reserved for the upper echelons of sophisticated society, an exclusive dominion populated by leather elbows, highbrow intelligentsia and people with glasses perched on the end of their noses.

That (and once probably true) stereotype has now all but gone, and in its place is a new generation of young, enthusiastic, artistically savvy and culturally hungry art collectors, keen to explore the opportunities of the art world and have a few choice pieces hanging from their own living room walls.

And even in today’s economic climate –where the pennies are tight and ‘super scrimping’ is the buzz phrase – it’s easier than you think. From snapping up the works of art world’s new arrivals to creating your own, improvised mini masterpieces, where there’s a will there’s a way – and the way forward is in affordable art.

Up And Coming Talent

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ve got to invest in a big name at big bucks – but let’s be honest, most of us haven’t got sufficient wallet for that, plus this is an article about affordable art. So forget the big name artists and go for the new, emerging, upcoming talents.

A lot of their work is available at reasonable prices, and there’s plenty of spiky, innovative, fantastic pieces by artists trying to establish a name for themselves. Have a wander around the independent galleries and art circuits in your area to get a taste of what’s on display – and sign up to their newsletters so you know when a new exhibition is doing the rounds.

I’ve often slapped my head in frustration at how some of the most inspirational and creative local talents still haven’t been discovered compared to the risible, amateurish and often execrable attempts by established artists.

Art Books

Art books are another great way to stimulate your artistic soul. There are plenty of discount book stores that have decent-sized art sections, and you’ll most likely find some good ones in charity shops too.

Holiday Snaps

There’s nothing more budget-friendly yet artistically creative than printing off some picturesque holiday snapshots, mounting them on a canvas and displaying them, unframed, on the wall.

Be Another Andy Warhol

The 60s pop art scene proved that you could make something beautiful out of everyday objects – in fact, a lot of the time everyday objects were beautiful anyway, it’s just we didn’t realise because we didn’t take the time to look at and appreciate it. Andy Warhol had the right idea with his Campbell’s soup cans – and so can you.

If you find yourself admiring certain packaging or labels and find yourself submerged in some kind of commercially-artistic groove, keep them, arrange them, mount them, display them – give them an artistic framework, get your creative juices flowing, and prove that a John Smith’s tuna label can be just as visually stimulating as the Mona Lisa.

The Student Route

Every year colleges and universities put on art exhibitions of students’ work – and they’re usually eye-popping examples of just how talented the younger generation of artists is. Not only can you revel and delight in the mastery of their craft, they’re also a great opportunity to pick up a diverse range of prints, paintings, mixed media designs, and textile pieces from some of the country’s nascent talent – and at very reasonable prices too.

Frame Your LPs

Though LPs have been all but replaced by their shinier, smaller disc-like counterparts, you can glean as much joy from the outside cover as you can from the inside musical contents. A few niche music shops still stock LPs and many independent pubs still have the vaguely crackling, nostalgic sounds playing in the background – but there’s no denying the golden age of album covers was during the era of the record. So why not take some your favourites, frame them and mount them on the wall? An offbeat, quirky and fun way of decorating your home.

Try Before You Buy

Or more specifically, rent. If you haven’t got the kind of moolah to fork out in one go for an art piece, why not consider renting it? Lots of art galleries do this nowadays, so it’s the ultimate way of getting to try before you buy. That way you still get to appreciate the art while at the same time supporting your local gallery, surely one of the best and most flexible ways of procuring your own affordable art.

The Naked Truth

And if you REALLY want to indulge in your passion for art and aren’t of a prissy nature or the shy, retiring type, how about signing up as a nude model? OK, so it’s not strictly in the home, but lots of schools and colleges advertise for nude models that their students can sketch and hone their drawing skills, and lots of them pay for your time.

Finding ways and inspiration to create and accrue your own art – at pocket-friendly prices – is relatively easy when you put your mind to it.

Can you think of any other ways to create your own affordable art around the home? Share your ingenious ideas and comments below.

Buying Affordable Art At Galleries, Online Or Art Fairs

Image by:  Bruno CordioliTo the novice and the uninitiated, buying art or attending an art fair can be an intimidating experience. We all know what we like, the kinds of art we appreciate and the colours, styles and approaches that float our artistic boat – but plunging into the vast and seemingly mind-boggling cosmic void of contemporary art can be a dizzying and baffling experience.

Help is always on hand, however, and there are plenty of things you can do and consider when venturing out to purchase art from a gallery, art fair or online

Don’t Be Intimidated

Perhaps the biggest set-back for the uninitiated or virgin art hunter is the intimidation factor. It’s easy to understand, too – there’s just so much to choose from in terms of venues, scope, and available art, the whole adventure can seem terrifying.

The best thing to do is to approach any gallery or art fair with a completely open mind, a tabula rasa on which you can formulate your own ideas and conceptions. You’ll have an idea of what you might expect, but don’t be persuaded, dissuaded, coaxed or cajoled into other people’s opinions – simply come to your own.

The days of stuffy galleries occupied by pompous curators – all tweed suits and pomposity – are gone. So stroll around, take your time, soak it all up, and enjoy your artistic sojourn.

Artistic Considerations

There are a few things you can consider as you’re soaking up the artistic inspiration and display of creativity around you. A good way to take it all in and not become too overwhelmed by everything is to take a step back – look at the art from a distance, appreciate and embrace its colours, patterns and themes.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an art collection or starting a new one, you ‘ll still need to think about what you want. Are you travelling in the same artistic direction and looking for similar prints or painting, or are you branching off into new and diverse territory, looking for something different, unexpected and artistically fresh?

And when it comes to hanging your chosen works of art, galleries are also happy to advise on how to best hang your purchase(s), and can even recommend specialist hangers to do it for you.

Another good tip is to hang your art in UV glass so it won’t get discoloured by the light.

Beauty Of Online Art

Art – like pretty much everything else nowadays – can be bought online. It’s a burgeoning field that is easy and accessible to everyone. And whilst some might prefer the more tactile and physical approach of going to an art fair or gallery, buying online offers the luxury of choosing selected pieces from the comfort of your own home.

Online art dealers effectively offer the same as their high street counterparts – they specify artwork sizes, have a returns policy, a mailing list you can sign up to, and have an email address and phone number, so you can call them to discuss any queries you might have.

What To Look Out For

If you’re a relative newcomer to the art-buying scene, a good, entry-level idea is to start off with original prints. Understand the meaning of the editions (if it’s a limited run, 3/100 will hold better later value than 85/100), and make sure it’s signed (an unknown could be a big name and go stratospheric in a very short time). Of course, going with your gut instinct and impulsively picking what you artistically turns you on is another safe bet.

Something For All Budgets

Of course, a major consideration will be how much you’ve got to spend, so your purchases will be dictated to a certain extent by this.

However, if you spot something you like that exceeds your general financial limitations, the Own Art scheme could help. Set up by the Arts Council, it gives art lovers the opportunity to buy art from £100 to £2000, more than one piece if there are a few that take your fancy, and the option to repay it over a period of instalments. Some galleries offer this scheme too. And if they don’t, lots of them are prepared to come to a similar arrangement or negotiation.

Your Personal Exhibition

Ultimately, no matter where you saunter off for your artistic purchases – online, art fair or gallery degree shows (art students often display their work at universities and galleries) – the whole experience has to be about enjoying yourself and engaging with art in all its varieties and possibilities.

Work out what you like, let it often take you in surprising, unexpected directions, do some research, and you’ll inevitably find something you like and, more importantly, affordable artwork you’re comfortable hanging in your living room.

These ideas will point you in the right direction and give you some food for thought when it comes to exploring the possibilities of buying artworks.

Have you got any other suggestions when it comes to perusing affordable art? Share your experiences and comments below.

Bio: Elise Leveque is an interior designer with a keen interest in contemporary art.