Here at Crescent Hill Gallery, our artists use the highest quality acrylics and oils. These paints will retain their colour and vibrancy for a long time; according to the CCI (Canadian Conservation Institute), an acrylic or oil painting left in direct sunlight for 8 hours will not show signs of fading for 30-50 years.
However, it is best to take certain precautions when dealing with your artwork as they are on either a wooden stretcher and canvas, or on board.
1. Frame the Artwork
Wood ‘breathes’ even after cut, and will expand and contract with fluctuations in humidity. To save yourself the expense of having a painting warp and need to be re-stretched (a cost of several hundreds of dollars), frame your painting in a simple floater frame. This will give is space behind the work and help maintain the stretchers shape.
2. Hang the Art Directly on the Wall
A painting leaning above a fireplace or on a shelf will slowly warp towards the wall, creating a concave shape to the stretcher. For tips on hanging your art, check out our blog post:
3. Choose an Interior Wall
Exterior facing walls can also be problematic as they are exposed to more fluctuations. A frame and bump-ons stuck to the back of the frame will help air circulate around the piece.
If you have work on exterior walls or above fireplaces, make sure to check them every few months for signs change.
4. Be Careful when Cleaning
Dust can act as an abrasive force on your painting, so make sure to dust your painting with a feather duster or, preferably, a clean sable brush. To clean the inside edges of your floater frame, a Q-tip fits nicely between the space of the frame and painting.
Although the high quality of paints used by our artists minimizes any concerns of light damage to the artwork, there are lighting options that are better for the art than others. Our blog post “When to Shine a Light or Not” explains the safest options:
6. For those who want to learn more:
McMichael Art Gallery offers a concise and insightful write up for caring for your art, including more delicate works such a historical paintings and works on paper:
They suggest using incandescent lamps to protect work IF they are low wattage or on a dimmer. Incandescent lamps do emit a lot of heat which can degrade fabric and paper. LED lighting emits less heat and UV, while allowing you to view larger spectrum of colours and see more details. Some argue that the warm tone of incandescent bulbs is more suitable for paintings as they do not cast a hard white tone on the work.
If you have any concerns about your work, your first and most trusted source should be the Canadian Conservation Institute: