Putting On The Finish.....Once And For All

It is always good to sell. When one of my museum clients contacted me recently to purchase four small science paintings based on the periodic table, I was over the moon. Then I started scrutinizing each painting looking for some imperfection. Before I send my work to a collector I want to make sure it is in the best possible condition.

So I touched up any scratches and any passages of color, design, or paint film application that had  bothered me over the years. Then, I coated each painting with two coats of a Golden Artist Colors product called GAC 500. I love, love, love this stuff. It serves as a very strong top coat  and gives a hard finish. Really, after the second coat the paintings looked really spectacular. No kidding!

It amazes me that when I first created the pieces back in 2007, I thought they were complete and I went on to exhibit them all over the country in various shows. But as I have matured as an artist, my standards of presentation have also matured. That is why, I went to such lengths to prepare these paintings for their new home.

After I fixed any scratches and general wear and tear due to exhibiting the paintings over the years, I took to painting the sides of the gallery wrapped. Painting the sides gives a more polished look. In regards to gallery wrapped canvas, I think it especially looks nice when I am able to extend the design of the painting over to the sides and not just paint them black or gray.  What do you think?

Signing "properly"

When I first exhibited these paintings, I had signed them in pencil on the front. At the time ( five years ago), I was having trouble coming up with a "signature" in paint that I liked. There was even a question of whether I should sign the small abstract paintings at all on the front. In some of the more academic circles, that is a no-no. But I felt the signature was important and if I could do it right and non-obtrusively, it would be overall enhance the painting. So , I erred on the side of caution and signed in pencil.
 Followed with a coat of medium to protect the signature from being erased. It worked with the overall design of the paintings but it always bugged me a little over the years.  So now using a  no. 5/0 Simply Simmons synthetic brush with an excellent little point, I was able to get the signature "P.Rashid" just right.

Signing the back

I also added a signature and pertinent information on the back of the canvases written in permanent marker. Why? The information include the title and medium of the work as well as my name. I think adding the signature on the front and/or back adds a final endorsement and legitimacy to the the work. It let's the world know that the work is "Aproved by the Artist".  

Stay tuned for  a future post about what can wrong when an artist doesn't do this.


Unfortunately, time had not been kind to my frames. Moving cross country a few times and sending the paintings to various exhibits took it's toll on the floater frames. I had to have several of the paintings re-framed by a local framer.

Packing them up

I used cardboard backing for protection and  wrapped them all in brown paper.  I believe this process protects during the packing process at the UPS as well requires the painting to be unwrapped by the recipient. This makes for a special feeling and anticipation on the part of the client.

I am all about helping my clients feel special because they are!


Margaret Cooter said…
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the importance of a signature - I've mentioned the signature in passing on today's blog post, and your post makes a useful link for readers who want to know more.... I hope you'll follow up on "what is wrong when the artist doesn't do this"!

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