varnsh removal
Angela Geary

Fine Art Restoration

Over twenty five years experience. Client focused, approachable and accessible.


30th December 2017

Charles Jones: Absence of Shepherds

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24th August 2017

Rococo frame restoration

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6th July 2017

Restoring Cromwell

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Angela Geary Fine Art Restoration

Our core practice

We deliver expert and highly skilled fine art restoration, conservation services in our core practice specialisms of easel paintings and picture frames. We serve a wide range of museums and private clients in the UK. Work is carried out in our studio in Somerset and on location to suit our clients’ requirements.

Consultation services

Condition appraisals, technical examinations, environmental control advice, condition reports, with recommended conservation treatments and quotations are offered in our consultation service.

We welcome studio visits by appointment and offer free consultations. Site visits can be arranged to suit our clients’ needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need urgent advice for damaged artworks. Complete our request form and we will be in touch to arrange your free consultation.

Our approach is to be approachable!

We aim to make our conservation and restoration services accessible to a wide range of clients. We are always happy to explain the processes and options involved for treatment in a clear, straightforward way.

While we have over 25 years experience in the treatment of works by artists of historical significance, including Impressionist, Tudor and Modern artworks, we are enthusiastic to tackle projects of any kind, any scale by artists known and unknown.

You value your artworks: we understand

We are very much aware of the personal value that our clients often place in paintings, documents and other artefacts that may have been in their families for generations. We can guarantee an empathetic approach to serving our clients needs and our sensitive care of all the artworks we treat.

Advising and quoting

We will take time to discuss with you the options for the care of your artwork and your aims for the outcome of its conservation. Our quotations are made on the basis of the time and materials involved in the best treatment approach. We will keep you updated as treatment progresses, usually around the midpoint stage. If you have questions at any stage, we will be more than happy to answer them.

A payment on account may be requested when you accept our quotation. We are pleased to accept a full range of payment options. (Credit card payments incur a small surcharge).

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Easel painting conservation

painting restorationWhy do paintings need to be conserved?

Over time, dust and dirt accumulate on the surface of paintings. Discoloured varnishes and old restorations may also lead to a darkened and disfigured appearance. Flaking paint, holes, tears and deformed canvas bulges are common issues. Sometimes, more severe damage from fire and flood, are problems that require the attention of a specialist restorer conservator. Sadly, paintings are often damaged during house removals and shipping transit. The good news is that we can usually treat even extensively damaged paintings very effectively.

Approaches to easel painting restoration

We use well-established, stable and reversible conservation materials and techniques. Through sensitively considered treatment, an authentic appearance to the artist’s original intentions can be restored and conserved. Preserving value as well as the aesthetic presentation of the painting is critical in paintings conservation. Typical treatments for canvas paintings include tear repair, canvas strip-lining and, occasionally, full linings. Panel paintings can require stabilisation and structural mending. Surface cleaning and varnish removal are very common treatments for paintings of all periods. Typically, after varnish removal, a new non-yellowing conservation varnish is applied. Restorations to paint losses are carried out with stable and reversible media and pigments. Care is taken to limit restorations to the region of loss and these are applied  over an isolating layer of conservation varnish.

Whilst some art conservator/restorers outsource structural treatments to specialist liners, we have our own in-house skills, experience and capacity to perform full linings and other structural treatments, as needed, allowing a fully-integrated and cost-effective service for the care and treatment of your painting.

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Virtual restoration

Why is virtual restoration needed?

Writing inks can be very prone to fading, particularly when exposed to direct sunlight. Paradoxically, some modern inks, from the latter part of the 20th century onwards, can be much more light fugitive than earlier inks, such as Bistre, India and Iron Gall inks. Archival documents, letters, drawings and signatures written in ink can fade significantly over time. Preventive conservation measures including UV light protection, maintaining low light levels, alkali buffering storage and conservation framing can all help to delay and minimise fading and many other forms of degradation for artworks and archival materials.

How does virtual restoration work?

But what if the worst has already happened and an important letter or drawing has lost inked elements due to fading? Fortunately, using advanced digital reconstruction techniques it is often possible to recover the original appearance of ink signatures, handwritten inscriptions and drawings, even when these are very faded to the naked eye.Even extreme cases of fading, or other damage, may leave sufficient traces to be virtually restored or reconstructed digitally. In such cases, our use of forensic image analysis techniques, such as infrared or ultraviolet imaging, can be often be effective.

Facsimilies and replicas for display

With this information, a facsimile version of the original document can be made with the restored written or drawn elements in place. The facsimile can be put on display to be enjoyed, while the original is kept safely in archival storage, minimising the risk of further deterioration. This can also be a useful approach with any very valuable documents or artefacts that cannot be displayed in an open environment for security reasons.

In some instances, it may be appropriate to place restored facsimile elements directly in situ with the original work. Handwritten elements on photographs can be “restored” in this way, provided care is taken to make sure it is safely reversible from the original surface.
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