Friday, April 26, 2013

Valuable Granville Redmond painting found in storage boxes

A lady called the other day who is not "into art." But she was going through her mother's boxes that were left to her and had been in storage for some time. In the box she found this little 12' x 14' painting and didn't really think about it. It really didn't appeal to her. But she could read the name, Granville Redmond 1915. Fortunately for her, she Googled the name and wowie kazowie! It was nice to know also that she Googled for someone to clean it for her and she found our website at And it was nice to know several people she talked to confirmed that she should come to see us.

So we've cleaned this nice tonalist piece and thought you'd like to see it, freshly discovered from being "lost" since it was bought back in the 20's, she said.

If you saw this for sale, would you have "black lighted" it? What would you have seen? Learn more about doing your due diligence when you buy paintings (and other collectibles) by clicking on this link:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Can I Clean My Oil Painting Myself?

"I have several oil paintings, old and dirty. Is there some way I can clean them myself?" I get asked the question often, so I'm going to answer it publicly: 

Here's the answer... and it IS a great question. Oil and acrylic painting have many painting techniques through the ages that make them susceptible to damage if you don't know what you are doing. 

Added to that is what ever is on the surface (nicotine, discolored varnish, grime... varnished over grime, lacquer, linseed oil varnish to name a few). Each is taken off in a different way. 

Those two conditions (technique plus the type of stuff you want cleaned off) make cleaning pictures the main reason and way that paintings are often damaged by inept people. 

The only cleaning technique I can offer, then, is saliva and Q-tips! You might say, "Ewwww! Spit on my painting!?!?!?! Well, the enzymes will help remove grime and by using saliva, you won't use enough water to damage the art. 

We sometimes clean paintings with saliva inch by inch and, in fact, may have a 3'x4' French Impressionist painting worth $millions coming into the lab in about 10 days that we will clean with this exact technique. The attached photo shows a painting during cleaning that took hours and hours to remove with a number of toxic solvents and lots of know how. 

See the time lapse video of the cleaning on this page:

Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121
Questions about the painting in this video? Call Steve Stern at 310 729 6666

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