Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you if you’re thinking about having something conserved by me.
Q. Do you have insurance?
A. Yes, I have cover for Professional Indemnity, Employer’s Liability and Public Liability. I can provide further details if you decide to ask me to look at a painting for you.
Q. Can you provide a valuation?
A. I’m not qualified to provide any kind of valuation. You will need to contact an auction house for your painting to be valued.
Q. Will conservation work affect the value of my painting?
A. Again, I’m not able to make any assessment of value. I will treat things with the same level of care regardless of monetary value. I believe that dealers on the whole would prefer to buy something that hasn’t been treated. If you are embarking on treatment solely to increase the value of your painting I would advise seeking an opinion from an auction house. If, however, you wish to enjoy your painting now and for it to be stable for the future I can advise on minimally invasive or ethically sound reversible treatments to ensure that your painting is stable and less likely to deteriorate unnecessarily.
Q. How long does conservation treatment take?
A. This very much depends on what treatment is necessary, how large the painting is and how busy I am. Treatments can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to complete.
Q. Is conservation treatment expensive?
A. Again, it depends on the condition of the painting. My minimum charge is £100. I don’t charge for providing an estimate and estimates are valid for 12 months. I am always willing to provide treatment options for differing budgets with priority on structural stability so that the painting will not unnecessarily deteriorate further (this means I’d try to stop loose paint from falling off, repair any tears, make sure canvas tension is adequate and ensure the frame isn’t causing damage).
Q. Do you conserve watercolours?
A. I am only qualified to treat oil, acrylic or tempera paintings. I am able to give a basic conservation assessment of other artworks but it is best to consult specialists from each discipline.
Q. Do you repaint pictures?
A. No. If there is lost paint or very distracting cracking then I can reintegrate those areas by inpainting/retouching the damages. It is important that original, undamaged paint is not covered. I practise illusionistic retouching, which means that I will try my best to make my inpainting look as much like the original as I can in order to make them less distracting. I use paint that dissolves in different solvents than the original so it can be easily removed without harming the original paint at a later date if necessary.
Q. My painting has fallen off the wall/been in a flood and now it has broken/torn/got holes in/lost paint. Is there anything that can be done?
A. That is exactly what I do. There are some occasions when a painting cannot be salvaged after a mishap. I am yet to see one. This doesn’t mean that it will look “as good as new” but I will do my best to make it safe and sympathetically treat any structural or surface damage.
I hope this has been helpful. For other frequently asked questions you can see my blog posts How did you get into THAT? and Not just tiny brushes. If you have any questions please contact me through the form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org