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StudioSense: Shipping a Pastel Painting

Although all artists will get excited about a sale over the Internet, the challenge that lays ahead deals with actually preparing and shipping the painting!

This week I received notice of a sale of "Fog Lifting on the Huron," which is on the landing page of my website, to a collector in Maryland. The painting previously shipped to a juried exhibit in Chicago and, at the time of the sale, was hanging at the salon exhibit at the Clinton Art Center in Clinton, MI. Here is the painting, on its way to Maryland:

So I called the art center to arrange to fetch the painting hanging in their show, to be replaced with another painting. As this framed pastel painting had been moved around several times, some pastel dust collected on its mat. So my task was to retrieve the painting from Clinton, remove the glass and mat, clean the glass and the mat, put it back together and ship. We artists like to paint and draw. Unless we are fortunate to have a studio assistant (I do , but he has four legs and barks and is not very helpful), we need to devote about two hours to prepping and shipping a framed painting. In a future blog, I will go through my process of shipping an unframed pastel painting.

My first task was to remove the painting from the brushed gold metal frame. That was easy, loosening two screws and watching out for those pressure inserts that keep the frame tight in the back. Next was to clean the mat. Here is a close-up of the particles of pastel dust that gathered on the egg shell mat (you can see them right below the "Pal" of my signature):

My first step is to take a soft brush and try to brush off the particles.

That does not do the job. So the next step is to grab a kneaded eraser and clean the eraser. Since it it used to erase pastel, it gets rather dirty! I find that shaving it with a blade then rubbing it on stretched canvas cleans it nicely!

Here is the clean eraser. As the mat is eggshell white, any darker smears would be noticed, so clean that eraser!

Once cleaned up, it was time to clean the glass and put the painting back together! Here is the re-compiled painting with a variety of materials taped to the glass. They include a Certificate of Authenticity from Zatista (Zatista is the online gallery that sold the painting), a coupon for Zatista, a packing slip and other marketing materials from the online gallery. The goal is to deliver an impressive, professionally-done and clean presentation of the product purchased by your client!

Next step is to secure the painting in a "picture box." This one (obviously) is from UPS.

I will afix bubble wrap around the glass and stuff more bubble wrap and crumbled paper on the sides, then take the box to UPS for shipment. Shipping is a charge on top of the framed artwork. The painting will be insured for the $1,300 sale price and a tracking number will confirm delivery which will then trigger payment to the artist from the gallery.

Enough of this! Now time to get back to painting!!


Linda Klenczar is hosting an opening night reception of her beautiful pastel paintings on Thursday, November 1 (tomorrow night)! The reception will be held at the Ann Arbor City Club. I have painted with Linda on various occasions and hope you can make this show! The show continues until December 10th! The reception is from 5 to 7 pm on 11/1. The City Club is located at 1830 Washtenaw in Ann Arbor. Come out and enjoy!!

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