Watching Paint Dry – A way of life at Golden Artist Colors

Watching Paint Dry

Bill Berthel, Jim Hayes, and Mark Golden

Golden Artist Colors has been actively involved in research in acrylic paint technology and issues in acrylic paintings conservation for over 14 years. We have contributed research on discoloration of acrylic medium and written many articles on the technical properties of acrylic paint and paint formulation.

These have included understanding the drying process of acrylics, controlling foam in the paints, reviews of current acceptable cleaning alternatives for the acrylic painting surface as well as a review of the paint making process and how that relates to conservation issues. Golden Artist Colors also contributed the chapter in the 14th edition of The Gardner-Sward Handbook (also known as the Paint & Coatings testing Manual) on testing and evaluation of Artist Paints.

We have formulated two lines of products specifically for conservation needs. These include our MSA paints and our Polyvinyl restoration paints. We have also produced a “Lightfast Testing Kit” for artists and art technologists based on the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) protocols for accurate measurements of the color lightfastness of materials that might be used in artwork.
These projects serve to continue our knowledge of these versatile materials and to continue to improve our products as well as those of the entire industry.

For the last year and a half we have had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Jablonski, a talented and dedicated conservator. “The Conservation of Acrylic Dispersion Paintings: A General Overview and Research Proposal” is a project which we feel will have profound implications for the future of acrylic paintings conservation. Ms. Jablonski presented the first portion of the paper in an address to the American Institute of Conservation this past June in Dallas, Texas.

The paper was presented for an audience of conservators and hopefully will be available to those interested parties through the post-conference reprints. For the purposes of “Just Paint” we have rewritten a review, the fundamental conclusions of which may be more relevant to artists than to conservators. Although “Just Paint” is on occasion viewed as “highly technical” rather than generally accessible, we would answer that conservation is an issue of highest importance to artists as well as academics. Actually, we invite anyone with questions about any of the information we supply to call us, we appreciate your input.

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