Bringing a slain painting back from death’s door.

I think most people would agree, moving is hell. It’s something I dread, but Moving happens. To be fair, things actually went fine overall with our move a year and a half ago, at least until I discovered one of my paintings did not come out of it unscathed.

The grand canyon sized rip.

A personal favorite of mine, Dun Workin’, suffered a wicked laceration at some point over the course of the move. It was probably inevitable as we moved around 60-80 pieces, so my initial response was relief that it was only one (I’m a glass is half full kind of person). Once I got past my optimism, though, I stared at this ginormous chasm in this painting I’d created… and felt a bit sad.

The damage on the back of the canvas.
The damage on the back of the canvas.

I’ll be honest, I spent the past year so bummed about it that I essentially wrote the painting off, almost disowning it. But after pulling it out recently and realizing I REALLY did like this piece… I decided it was worth a try to save. What’s the worst that could happen? After all, it was already damaged goods, a waste of precious storage space.


I had some idea what repairing damage like this entailed, but some additional research would be called for. So after an intense training montage (complete with 80’s music – think Eye of the Tiger) with  Google and YouTube, I formed a plan.

I started with patching the back with a piece of spare canvas and some gesso. Then I let it set overnight with a stack of books (and a 7 lb kettlebell, I knew it had to be good for something!) to help it flatten it. Now I had something to work with. A bit of sanding and priming on the front side of the spot and it was ready for some paint to blend it with the rest of the background.

Patched in the back, ready for work in the front.
Patched in the back, ready for work in the front.

It was done. Finally this painting can come out of the closet again and be seen by the world… it might even look better than before. Yes, I’ll admit I slipped in a touch up or two on a couple spots that had been bothering me. These exist with virtually every painting … if I didn’t have the common sense to find a stopping point with each piece I’d never be done.

Close up of the finished product!
The finished product!

There IS an ever so slightly visible artifact when it’s looked at from a certain angle or in a certain light, but you’d have to be looking for it to see it. Art is not about perfection, it’s about perfect imperfections. So I’m checking the mission accomplished box on this one – time to mark it available again (with full disclosure, of course)!

Dun Workin’ is now available at 50% of it’s original price (and yes, it qualifies for my current Etsy special!). Check out the listing right here on Etsy!

Dun Workin’