What is considered old in the art world? I’m not talking about the artist’s age, but the age of the artwork. Calls to artists to enter their work in exhibits usually have a time frame within which the artwork needs to have been created. Beyond this time, the art is no longer eligible for consideration. Usually that time period is two to three years. If you are a living artist, then work starts to be considered really “old” after about 5 years or so. Unless you’re one of the famous few. If you’re dead, well then, older work is just fine. Sometimes, the older the better. Any dead artist’s work is worth more just because the supply is automatically limited.

Once the work is purchased, age no longer matters. In fact, often the older the work the better. It’s just when it sits in the hands (or on the storage shelf) of the artist that it becomes problematical.

So what happens to those sad old paintings?  I have a few hanging out in my studio, although luckily, most of my paintings have sold. I think the old guys are good, although yes, I have improved over the years. But for some reason they just sit on the storage shelf. I’ve never figured out why some really good paintings don’t say BUY ME to collectors. Anyway, recently I decided to take one painting off it’s stretcher bars to see how it felt. It felt strange. Like I was giving up on an old friend. I carefully rolled the painting up to store again. Now the painting takes up less room and I have a set of stretcher bars to re-use. I’ve been enjoying working on wood panels and didn’t have enough canvas on hand, so here’s what I did:

Old stretchers with 4 untempered masonite panels

Old stretcher bars with untempered masonite panels just waiting for me

I bought four untempered (without the chemicals) masonite panels from Arizona Art Supply in Phoenix. Jim cut them to size for me using a band saw blade. I covered them with GAC 100, which protects the acrylic paint from discoloring, applied three coats of gesso to each board, and then with Jim’s help, glued and clamped to boards onto the stretcher bars. Slightly unconventional. Now I have four panels with a half inch space between each one and the outer edges of the stretcher bars showing.  This presents just the kind of problem I like. And I have now clue what I’m going to do…

Meanwhile, I have a water reflection painting in progress.

Water reflection painting in progress 5:3:12

More than a start but far from finished


While I work away on the water reflection  this afternoon, I’ll be aware of my new problem sitting on the easel just to the right of me, waiting to be solved.