Cleaning and retouching

My paintings get dust and ‘fuzzies’ on them as they slowly dry. I do not like to see vivid white cat hair clinging to ivory black. I am not 100% sure about how to temporarily varnish them and then remove that varnish later (after the paint has dried for at least a year!) only to re-varnish.

As a defense, or maybe offense, I cleaned the paintings that were dry to the touch. I used odorless mineral spirits and one of those lintless towels from Lowes. The blue ones, the name brand escapes me, the ones you see used in car garages. Surprisingly, the fuzzies and hairs came off, easily.

The surface cleaned up so nicely I decided to go ahead and lay down a glaze of ivory black to even out the backgrounds on those pieces. Which lead to making other touch ups on those pieces. Can you envision the downward spiral? Or is it? Maybe it’s a good thing to make touch ups.

Here is the result:

I apologize mess but I wanted to show the glaze. The apple painting was dry to the touch. The orange was only painted a week ago so the paint was still tacky, but I am glad I made the touch ups. After looking at the piece all week I wasn’t satisfied with the shape of the unpeeled orange. Then I added a little detail into the naval portion. The espresso cup was absolutely syrupy. I must have really soaked this one in stand oil because it was painted nearly a month ago. Yikes.

Thank you so much for reading about my painting process and practice. Drop me a line sometime.

My best,
Emily Warren

Published by Art Belongs to Everyone

The work is inspired by an engagement with play and making peace with uncertainty. I work experimentally, using a digital video to explore painting. I use sound and moving images in non-traditional ways to reverse expectations of horror and comedy. I am drawn to the whimsical nature of self-discovery. I construct repeating narratives, often depicting varying scenarios of serenity, silliness, and reflection.

One thought on “Cleaning and retouching

  1. I’ve had a lot of trouble with dust on dark paintings too. It can help prevent dust if you lean the paintings forward to dry so all the dust settles on the back. Or you can lean something over (without touching) the drying painting to catch the dust and hair. Good luck!


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