Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Workshop Tips for Presenting your Finished Paintings

'Golden Morning'      6x8       pastel          ©Karen Margulis
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 It was an afterthought really. I knew that we would have a sharing/feedback session at the end of the Stan Sperlak workshop. I also know how challenging it can be to display several pastel paintings so that everyone can see them. I usually just tape the smaller paintings to my dirty backing board but this time I decided to bring along a couple of pieces of black foam core that I had left over from another project.

 The feedback session is a valuable part of a workshop experience so you want to make sure that the instructor and your fellow artists can see the work that you have done. If they are falling over or lost on the easel you are missing out on an opportunity to receive feedback. And as Stan pointed put....if it is our goal to approach galleries or otherwise sell our work, we need to be aware of how we present our work to others.  I had not really given that much thought when I was just starting out but it is a very wise suggestion.

Here are a few ways you might consider presenting your finished paintings at your next workshop.



A selection of my work on black foamcore


  • Use Black foam core.  The back foamcore does a great job of setting off the painting. They just seem more vibrant against the dark background. Paintings not on a board get lost sitting on an easel or against the wall. The black board just looks better.
  • Use clean white foam core.  White foamcore is fine. It can give the paintings a matted look. The important thing is to use a clean board....not the one you painted on all week. The dirty boards are distracting. Show your pride in your work with a clean board. Pack them with your  other supplies!
  • Use black or white mats. I once attended a workshop where an artist had her finished paintings taped inside a mat. They looked great! You need to have several mats in the sizes of your paper.
TIPS:  If you are traveling to the workshop and don't have room for bigger pieces of foamcore, take the larger piece and lightly score it with a mat knife on the back so that it folds over.  When you are ready to display your paintings, open the foamcore and tape the scored line on the back ....voila! you have a larger piece. (I do the same thing with the foamcore I use for my support board. 

I taped the paintings to the foam core with pieces of white artists tape on the back four corners of each painting. 

About the top painting: This is one of the plein air pieces done at the workshop. The photo doesn't do it justice as I used a piece of iridescent gold pastel. The sparkle was awesome in the light!

7 comments:

B Boylan said...

Thanks Karen for such an information packed review. I never considered a workshop with Stan, but perhaps it's about time I did. Thanks.

Denise Rose said...

Your work looks great! Thanks for this tip and I hope to use it in the future :)

Karen said...

Thanks Brenda! Stan is a great instructor and a lot of fun!!

Karen said...

Thanks Denise! Appreciate your comment!

Jo Castillo said...

Thanks, Karen. You always inspire. .... And teach!

Karen said...

Thanks Jo! I am happy to hear that you appreciate my posts!! Thanks for reading them!

Marian Fortunati said...

I imagine your paintings would "shine" in any format, but that was a really smart idea.
I'll bet the feedback was very positive ... hopefully instructive also, though.