Do you Squidoo? My new lens on hanging artwork.

According to Wikipedia,

"Squidoo is a network of user-generated lenses --single pages that highlights one person's point of view, recommendations, or expertise."

According to me, it's pretty addictive! I've really been enjoying surfing it, and I've also created a couple of lenses of my own. My most recent lens is: Hanging Artwork and Caring for Your Art Collection. While I've blogged some of this information before, I've included new content on my lens that I hope will be of interest to art lovers and art collectors. I've also just updated my other lens on landscape painting with new content, so check them out! And if you enjoy my lenses, please consider leaving a star rating for them at the top of the screen.

Art for the bathroom

I have written about some of the pitfalls with hanging art on canvas in the bathroom before, but that doesn't mean you can't hang other forms of artwork. Here is my response to a recent email inquiry, which I hope will offer some additional clarification: Q: Could you please advise me what sort of artwork could I hang in my bathroom?  I would like to hang a painting or one of those photographs printed (screen-printed?) on canvas-type material (I am not too sure of the material).  Please advise.  Best regards, S.L.

A: Hi S.L.- Art for the bathroom has some challenges but it is certainly not an impossible dream. If the bathroom has a tub or shower I would stay away from hanging art on canvas or wood panel. Over time, the moisture from the bath or shower steam could cause the canvas stretchers or wood panels to expand and contract, warping the support.

Monet's Garden art print by jennifer youngI think artwork on paper, such as my giclee prints, is better suited for bathroom. Your best bet is to have the art framed professionally with mat, glass, and backing paper to seal the art in the framing. That will help to prevent moisture from getting in under the glass.

On the other hand, if you are talking about a half bath without tub or shower, I would think you could feel reasonably secure hanging most any type of art. You may also wish to ask the opinions of a professional picture framer or art conservator in your local area. I am not an art conservator, but offer my opinion based on my own experience with the materials. I hope this helps!

Caring for your paintings and prints

I recently had a client ask me if it was okay to hang an original oil painting in a master bathroom. Since this is a bathroom that would be used often for showering, I advised against it. It is best to avoid exposing oil paintings on canvas to extreme temperatures and extreme humidity. This is why museums store work in a climate controlled environment. While we all can't go around monitoring the minute temperature changes in our homes, we can still take some basic measures to ensure the artwork is properly cared for. Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid hanging any work of art in direct sunlight for a prolonged period. Prints and works on paper risk fading, even when they are framed under protective UV glass. Oils can actually darken over time if exposed to strong sunlight for prolonged periods.
  • Works on paper should always be hung under glass for protection. UV filtered glass is preferred. However, avoid touching the glass directly to the work of art, as glass may contain some acids and chemicals that are damaging to papers. Professional picture framers use acid-free matting or other materials as a buffer to raise the glass off of the surface of the artwork.
  • As mentioned above, avoid extreme heat, extreme cold, and extreme humidity. All of these conditions can alter the condition of a work of art. Extreme temperature changes can cause painting supports to expand, contract, and warp. Oils on canvas can crack and chip if subjected to these constant insults.
  • Carry oils on canvas by the frame, or the outer edge of the stretcher bars. Avoid looping your fingers under the stretcher bars so that they grip the painting between the canvas and the stretcher. This can loosen and stretch the painting away from the stretcher.
  • Likewise, take care in leaning a canvas to anything, unless you are only letting the outer stretcher bar or frame touch the other object. Any thing leaning on the canvas itself can cause puckering and stretching of the canvas.
  • It is a fine idea to lightly dust your painting from time to time with a clean soft cloth or brush. Dust with a dry cloth only; do not clean with any other substance (like water, solvents, etc.)
  • In the unfortunate event that your painting is damaged in some way, contact a professional conservator in your area, as often repair and restoration is a viable option.