Ali Matteini

a life creative

how to repair a painting

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a few weeks ago, at long, long last, i opened the very last box i’d brought over from australia. in this box was the large oil painting by ken raffe towers in the future [or towers of the future, depending on different sources, including the artist himself – so we shall affectionately name it the towers from here on in].

i love this painting. it was one of the very first original artworks [not including my sister emma’s fabulous work] i had purchased, fuelled in part perhaps by the free very good wine at his exhibition.
no, that’s not true.
i fell in awe and love with this painting and when i left for italy i wasn’t willing to leave it behind in australia. it’s not at all about the monetary value of the painting, but because the artist is my mentor and i know the story behind his towers and how that influences his style.

so when our new house was completed enough to require art, i opened this last box.
and promptly burst into tears.
there is a massive tear – 5 inches long – in the canvas, along with a stretch that tells me something heavy has leant on it for a long time.



while i understand the risk in shipping anything by sea, and had toyed with removing it from its frame and shipping it rolled, i decided against it as i thought 11 weeks rolled up would damage the paint, or even laid flat, the restretching would ‘hurt’ it. so, i kept the towers stretched, had it insured, packaged it in enough bubblewrap to float a family because the shipping company had assured me that they would package it in cardboard once it arrived at the depot in sydney – something i wasn’t completely happy about – and sent it on its merry way…with a clenched jaw and a phone call to the company who had sent a dimwit with a bad morning behind him to collect my belongings.
and this stronzo shoved ken’s painting in the side of the truck…

anyway. what’s done is done.
i’m still waiting to hear about insurance, and in the meantime i contacted ken to let him know what had happened and he told me that it could be fixed enough so that it doesn’t draw attention. i glued a small piece of canvas to the back of the painting and then gave a touch-up of the painting itself – unfortunately, even with perfect colour matching, with acrylic over oil but it isn’t noticeable except that what i’ve done is a little more mat. without restretching the canvas, there is still a little bit of a bow but the weight of the new canvas seems to have helped a little.


this is what it looks like now.



not perfect, no longer completely original, but no longer gapingly obvious either…
and looks really rather lovely hung here:


One comment on “how to repair a painting

  1. Pingback: The devil’s threads glint through my first insurance claim | the shiny adventures of kittykatmandoo

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