The Restoration

I swear I’m trying to write more than once per week. It seems like I’ve been doing nothing but running around. Plus I’m exhausted most nights lately. Dozing off while hanging out with my boys or while relaxing after they go to bed. I guess it’s a sign and I should try to figure out what it means

Seriously tho I’m kindof in a holding pattern on the DSM Art Festival project. We’ve made some adjustments to the process of image-approval. I need to take some new pics as a result, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating. I was out of town all weekend and when I came home, ready to work, I got 3 days of rain and fog followed by a 30degree drop in temperature. Not conducive to taking panoramic shots of the City of Des Moines.

So in the meantime I’ve been restoring a piece that belongs to a friend of mine. He used to smoke… a lot, and this piece has spent its entire life in the room where he did most of his smoking. I’ve taken a heavy layer of tar off the surface by gently brush-washing areas with turpentine-substitute and then taking it up with a lint-free rag. I was amazed at how much better it looked just after that. Also the painting had never been varnished so I gave it a couple coats. I like to do a coat of Damar (glossy) followed by a coat of matte varnish. When I’ve got it I use EcoHouse-brand Damar. It’s orange-based so it doesn’t smell as badly as regular Damar, AND it doesn’t yellow. EcoHouse doesn’t make a matte-finish product yet sadly so I’ve been using a Miameri product. At any rate it looks gorgeous now. The colors are revitalized and the finish is like muted glass.
(the image here is an old pic. I’ll post a new one when the scan’s done)

Truth be told; although I do regularly varnish “matured” pieces for clients at no charge (I feel that it’s part of the process of creating the work) I’m doing this one with an alterior motive in mind. I recently posted this piece on a bulletin board for a group of people who are fans of a Cedar Falls, IA landmark, Steb’s Amusements. The building no longer exists. It was foolishly replaced by a big, empty hole. The response to the piece was very positive and some people have requested prints. My friend was wary of giving up this painting at all until I offered to give it a good cleaning and varnish. I’d have done it anyway, but the potential to make a little profit never hurts. As a matter of fact I delivered it to my local hi-rez scan provider today. Tomorrow I’ll have the painting along with a TIFF file in excess of 300mb which can be color-corrected and made into giclees.

The moral of this story: Never write off your old work. You never know when it may find a new audience.



6 responses to “The Restoration”

  1. Ron Avatar

    One of your prints of this hangs framed and matted in my office at home. Thank you, Robert.

    1. Robert L Reeves Avatar

      Thank you, Ron!

  2. Ron Avatar

    How did the restoration of this painting turn out, Robert?

  3. Ron Avatar

    How did the restoration go with this painting, Robert?

    1. Robert L Reeves Avatar

      It went very well. The piece isn’t overly-large so it was fairly easy to handle. I took a nasty layer of nicotine off this piece. Re-varnished it and got a nice, full-rez scan for reproductions.

      1. Ron Avatar

        Good to hear. This reminds me of good times on the Hill every time I see it (nearly every day).

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