Pastel Fix

The other day I learned something new – how to fix a rain ruined pastel painting!

I donated a painting, Ruffles, to a local art organization fund raiser. Ruffles was a painting done of a female clown at a circus that came through a nearby town. Clowns can be a bit creepy and Ruffles leans that way. I haven’t seen many female clowns so this particularly bright one caught my eye.

A few days after the painting was picked up I received a call from the hysterical volunteer. Evidently, she had left the painting upside down on the back seat of her car during a torrential rainstorm – with the back door open. Rain had seeped in through the back of the framing and there was a large swatch of rain damage across the front of the painting.  To make matters worse for her, her two children had bonded with Ruffles and were very upset about Ruffles’ ruination. Here’s Ruffles after being out in the rain – can you see the HUGE sideways drip?

ruffles ruined

As hard as I wanted to. I just couldn’t say “sorry, the painting is ruined” or “geez, can’t fix this one.” Instead, all I could say was that I would do my best to repair it.  So, I unframed Ruffles and let her dry out a bit on the easel.  Then I went to work redoing the background as best I could.  When I finished I think I made the painting better than it was originally, although some might still consider it a bit creepy.  I guess with clowns you either love them or hate them!

ruffles fixed

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