Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Ghost Image

Oohhhh scarry!.. but not for the nightmarish reasons you might think. I harp and harp and harp on NEVER using cardboard to store, mount or come into contact with any documents (paper), photos etc you want to keep. Here's a common horror story: using cardboard as a backing in framing. Notice the imprint of the cardboard (acid burns!) in the back of the artwork. Acid build up in paper makes it yellow (brown... in fact the back of the artwork in the photo used to be white!), become brittle and it accelerates the deterioration by many many times. Its one of my Top Ten Hit List items to avoid. See the rest of the list at

Btw, I have a painting in the lab that is haunted,a REAL horror story. But that's another long blog entry. It'll creep you out if I ever decide to put it on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A great discovery rewards a smart buyer... after cleaning this painting!

The overall gray color of this painting made it look like it was painted dark and gloomy. But the new buyer knew that this artist usually had much brighter colors. He was very smart, waiting to buy this after it failed to sell at auction for a huge discount. Now, with the cleaning and a new frame, the painting's value should change substantially. Look at the difference between the right side (clean) and the left side (dirty)!!! Wow... we see this kind of change all the time and we are still amazed. WARNING! If you are a do-it-your-selfer, this is not a job for your 409, Windex or your favorite potion. The dark colors are prone to dissolving more easily than the other colors and a half cleaned job would look blotchy and terrible. We are using a rotation of several solvents to ensure safety for the colors while yet removing all the grime and discolored varnish (and maybe some smoker's nicotine mixed in!).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I was asked to speak at an international conference as an author and expert

About 10 days ago, I spoke at an international conference in Merida, Mexico on preparing "small businesses" for natural disasters. The American organization, SBDA and the Mexican organization, AMCDPE work closely together but the conference was attended by representatives from 8 or 9 other countries. The conference was attended by office and program directors of various institutions including governments, universities, non profits and corporations. I outlined for them how my message of "save your stuff" is very important for the work/office place and is an essential part of an emergency preparedness plan, which is overseen by the Homeland Security Dept. If anyone is interested in my content, write me at and I will send you a copy of my written presentation. In the end, I offered to provide free content for newsletters, blogs, and articles and even utilize my publications to help fund raise. For this event, we set up for free downloads in the Spanish language.