|An array of panel carriers|
I often get asked practical questions by readers of my blog and I've decided that once in a while it would be a good idea to answer those questions here as there may be lots of you wondering about the same thing.
Today Pat asked " how do you get your wet paintings back from abroad? Also I've noticed that your painting s seem to go into galleries quite quickly. I'm put off oil painting by the problem go what to do when they're drying. What's your secret?"
The first thing to mention is that oil paintings may be drier a lot sooner than you realise - touch dry anyway. If you paint quite thinly (as I do) a painting can be touch dry in as little as three days. You can further speed up the drying time by adding liquin or using alkyd paints. Some people just replace their white oil paint with Underpainting white or Alkyd white and mix with ordinary oil colour, some use all alkyd colours.
That said, you still have the short term problem of carrying your wet paintings from the site, and I'm going to assume here that you're painting on panels or boards.
The photo above shows an array of wet panel carriers, this is where I tell you that you're spoilt rotten in the USA to be able to buy all this kit. All except the black one at the back (home made by my friend) were manufactured and sold in the USA and pretty difficult to get hold of if you're here in the UK.
But don't worry! There is a perfect and inexpensive solution and it's so easy when you know how :-)
It's the Ken Howard matchstick method!
|Maisie's getting quite good at placing the matchsticks now,|
after extensive training
You can buy matchsticks without the heads in their hundreds or thousands online (people who make models use them) so no need to be cutting them up!
On the back of your board stick one matchstick close to the edge, in the centre of each side. On a large board I stick two on the longer sides.
This is one of the things I prepare before going away on a trip. I also take with me some matchsticks and a tiny pot of pva glue in case any fall off en route.
Now as long as you have at least two boards of the same size this method really is foolproof. You use a clean board, or a dry painting, to stand on top of the wet painting just finished. You then put a little tape on to hold them together and hey presto - there's a small gap in between to keep your wet painting safe and protected.
You can stack up as many as you like in a pile, as long as they're the same size -
|All safe for travel|
And if it's raining you can wrap the stack in a carrier bag or bin bag.
I use boards that are at least 4mm thick and this method works perfectly. If you use something a lot thinner it may not work so well as the panels could get squished together in transit. But this is the method I use both for day trips and flying abroad trips and I've never had any problems with it. I love it because I can take as many different shapes and sizes as I want, as long as I have at least two in each size.