NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane Past Times Newsletter for June 2004
Past Times Several years ago an art restorer showed me a picture left by a It was the annual trash-pick-up week in Middletown and†I was a Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Artisans
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o How To Tell The Difference Between A Painting And A Print
By Dr. Bill Gordon of Gordon's Fine Art
o The Quest for the Perfect Find By Carol Freeman of Blue
o Share Past Times with A Friend
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PAINTING AND
A PRINT BY DR. BILL GORDON OF GORDON'S FINE ART
client for restoration. "Look at it and tell me what you
think," she said. I looked at the picture and examined it with
a loupe. "It's a print," I told her. "That's what I told my
customer, but the person he bought it from insisted that it was
an original painting so he paid $17,000 for it," she explained.
"It is still a print," I said. It is probably worth less than
$100 including the value of the frame."
The difference in value between a painting and a print can be
very great! While the original painting may be worth a small
fortune, a print reproduction of the painting may be worth only
a few dollars.
In this short article I will explain how to tell the difference
between an oil or acrylic painting and a print. The process is
not as simple as some people assume.
A Print Can Be On Canvas. Just because a picture is on canvas
does not mean that it is an original painting. Many prints are
put on canvas. The technology for transferring a print to
canvas has been around for many years.
A Print May Look And Feel Like It Has Brush Strokes. There are
several ways to simulate brush strokes on a print. One way is
to use clear shellac so that the picture feels like it has real
brush strokes when touched.
A Print May Have Real Paint On It. Another way of simulating
brush strokes is to apply real paint to a print. The print
serves as a guide for the copier who paints over the print.
An Original Painting May Look Like A Print. Natural aging and
the accumulation of dirt and smoke can cause a painting to take
on a dull appearance. I have seen original paintings that at
first glance looked like prints. Paintings that have resided in
the homes of heavy smokers tend to take on a dull yellow look
over time because of tobacco smoke.
An Inexpensive 10 Power Loupe Is The First Investment Any Art
Collector Should Make. With a 10 power magnification loupe
anyone with good eyesight can quickly learn how to tell the
difference between a print and a painting. Most modern prints
use a halftone photo reproduction process that is easily
identified with a loupe. These types of prints have geometric
dots when viewed under magnification. These dots resemble the
honeycomb of a bee hive. If you see these geometric dots on a
picture you know that it is a print and not a painting! Be
aware that not all prints have these geometric dots so you can
still have a print even if you don't see them.
You also need to check the area between the different colors.
Over painted prints almost always have areas of little or no
paint where the print underneath can be seen. Look for an area
with very little paint. If you see dots in these areas while
using a loupe you know that you have print that has been painted
over. These dots are positive proof that the picture is a print
and not an original painting!
Paint under magnification will look very three dimensional. It
is very similar in appearance to a mountain range when viewed
from the air. The colors should match the brush strokes when
viewed under magnification. These characteristics will enable
you to identify a painting even when it is coated with years of
yellow tobacco smoke.
Looking at a picture under magnification should enable you to
identify the majority of prints and paintings. If you are still
in doubt call in a local art expert and have them examine the
painting before you purchase it.
We invite you to visit Bill's shop at Gordon's Fine Art .
OF BLUE SHUTTER ANTIQUES
hyperactive hotflash on the move.††I prided myself on having
elevated "the perfect find" to an art form.††I had achieved that
delicate balance between brilliant technique and instinctive
genius. Like an Olympic athlete at her peak,†I was ready to
meet the challenge and return home with the Gold Medal.
Perfect technique, of course, requires the pre-cruise cruise.
So, I set out in my little two-door Volkswagen to scoot around
the neighborhood. Having mastered checking out the curbside
collectibles at 30 mph, I must admit that I was an elitist and
very selective in my acquisitions. In fact, I bypassed the
Bronx Baroque wall sconce and the styrofoam pelican, but could
not resist the inflatable toad futon. I glanced surreptitiously
to either side and deftly slipped it into the passenger seat.
As I headed home to admire my haul, I felt the Volkswagen take
on a life of its own as it veered across the street and skidded
to a halt in front of the perfect find. This would even beat
out Robin's velour loveseat with the hidden radio on the right
armrest or the sitz bath that Eleanor had dragged three blocks.
Before me was an enamel-topped, one-drawer table with oak legs.
Shock and horror took over as reality hit. Fitting the table
into the trunk would be like covering a size 14 tush with a
skirt the size of a hankerchief. You see, my usual routine was
to return home, get into the minivan that was old enough to be
bar mitzvahed, and return to the scene to pick up my treasure.
But, in this highly competitive venture "the perfect find"
would, likely, be found by someone else if I were to drive away.
Therefore, I got out of the car, opened the trunk, folded down
the back seats, and began several futile attempts at hoisting
the table into the little red puddle jumper. I knew I had made
the right decision because two men, one bearded and one
tattooed, pulled up behind me in the empty pick-up truck. They
watched me struggle and, then, the buzzards moved in for the
The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention as†I charged
into attack mode. "Okay, I know you're thinking that there's no
way I can fit this table into this trunk and you're just waiting
for me to give up and drive off so you can grab it, aren't you!"
I snarled, clenching my teeth.
The beard looked a bit befuddled, but the tattoo was the one to
speak. "Actually, we just stopped because it looked like you
might need some help."
Sometimes the thrill of victory can be a humbling experience.
We invite you to visit Carol's shop: Blue Shutter Antiques.
others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you forward this
issue on to others. Happy reading!
Several years ago an art restorer showed me a picture left by a
It was the annual trash-pick-up week in Middletown and†I was a
Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
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