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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Store Finished Plein Air Pastel Paintings

'Along the Salt River'             8x10            pastel            ©Karen Margulis
Pastels are perfect for Plein air painting. They are portable. Set up and clean up is a breeze. No need to worry about carrying odorless mineral spirits or dealing with wet paintings. It's just about perfect.  There is one concern....What do you do with finished pastel paintings in the field? They may not be wet but they still need to be protected against smudging.

I tired a new idea on my Arizona Paintout and I am very pleased with the results. For this trip I used  2 Art Profolio books. One was 5x7 and one was 8x10. They worked perfectly!

Storing Finished Plein Air Pastels

  • Thin and Lightweight:  These portfolios are thin and compact. They have polypropylene covers and non-glare top loading pockets. The size makes them easy to slip into a backpack or bag. 
  • Quality: They have heavy duty sleeves with black acid free insert papers. The cover is slick and durable.
  • Fill with paper: I loaded my pages with an assortment of pastel papers in each insert. This gave me a protected place to hold the paper I would need. When I finished a painting I slipped it into an empty sleeve and removed a clean piece of paper for the next painting....efficient!
  • Share your work: Since the finished pastels are protected in the clear sleeves it is easy to allow onlookers to look through your finished work without damage. Other storage solutions I have tried did not allow me to easily share my finished paintings. 
  • Protection:  The clear sleeves provides great protection and it is easy to slip paintings in and out of the sleeves when needed. I did find that a bit of pastel dust would be left on the sleeve but it didn't effect the painting and it is easy to wipe the inside of the sleeve with a paper towel if needed. 

'Palo Verde in Bloom'         8x10          pastel  $95  click here

My plein air work from the Arizona Trip
These profolio books are very reasonable. I got mine through Amazon.com. Click here. I used one for 8x10 paintings and one for 5x7 paintings. Both books, fully loaded slipped easily into my back pack.


Mary Lou LaFloure said...

I have been using old slick paper calendars for storage held shut with a binder clip. Friends are happy to donate old ones.

Karen said...

Great idea Mary Lou! Thanks for sharing. I have used old magazines and brochures with binder clips and that worked well until someone wants to see what I have painted (and it's always windy!) It is hard to open up the magazine pages without fear of the painting being blown away. This way I can share my work without fear of losing it or ruining it!
I like the idea of old calendars!

Peg Maines said...

I've been using portfolio books for a while and as you pointed out, they work wonderfully.

Karen said...

Glad to hear you have had success with them Peg!

Deb Fox said...

Thank you for once again finding the perfect solution!


You always share such wonderful ideas. Even though I am an oil painter, I can learn from you anyway.

Karen said...

Thank you Carol! It is my pleasure to share!