‘Depth’ is a gouache painting outlined w black oil paint pen on unstretched, primed canvas – I painted on the reverse side to keep the original linen look on the border of the work. I made the mistake of gifting this piece of work without future care and storage instructions, and so when it was moved house and later stored, it was stored rolled – as it was when I originally gave it to Caro.
Unfortunately with gouache, its a funny medium that although reasonably flexible at first, will over time continue to dry, leaving hairline cracks if rolled or even flaking if the gouache build up is too thick in spots. I left this piece unsealed as I was unsure how the oil paint pen would react with the gouache varnish I usually use, and hadn’t had time to test out (I had major mishap using this in the past with non water fast Indian ink right before an exhibition opening – arrrgh!)
As a result when stored, the piece developed ripples in the border edge of the linen canvas, and due to Wellington’s oh so lovely damp housing, a slight amount of mildew spotting in places.
So here is the work restored to its former glory – I pressed the work to flatten it under some heavy weighted books and then carefully ironed the linen edges between two sheets, before sponging off the mildew and repainting the base colours – gouache is water soluble so lifted to a lighter stain in those places.
Next comes sealing the work to prevent future mishaps – I am going to topcoat it with a matt spray varnish for gouache, which will mean the work can even be wiped down with a damp cloth should the need ever arise. However I will be recommending that it is not rolled again!