The Art Students' Corner


  *What is valuable art?   / *How do you know what to create? /  *How can I know if I could be an artist?  /  *What is the deal with conservation and restoration?   / * What are the ABC's of conservation and care of paintings?  / *How do you conserve metal? Care of Sculptures

Copyright ©;Caryl Westergren; All rights reserved. No part of this site is to be copied without the written permission of  Caryl WestergrenHome Gallery About Westergren For Students

What is valuable art?

"First, valuable art is a creation that is enormously powerful and life-giving." - Caryl Westergren

How do you know what to create?

"Sometimes I rely on the intuitive process and allow the art to evolve -often with a blending of statements with expressionist and impressionist art, harvesting inspiration from nature and lost worlds.  As all artists we have been influenced by other artists that that have come before;  I am moved by other artists including - Georgia O'Keefe, The Hudson River Artists, performance artist Lorie Anderson, The Great Impressionists, and Henry Moore.  I am moved by the other arts like, dance." - Caryl Westergren

How can I know if I could be an artist?

“A talented artist, finding visual art their nature, finds mastering technical achievement to create art, a skill that is priceless to art.  Finding art is as natural as - The Rain Forest is to the earth - the artist finds a home with art if ... the artist starts looking. Not looking for art, but looking for your spirit to be naturally at home with the art, with creativity, and home with the self as artist." - © Caryl Westergren


What is the deal with conservation and restoration?

"We know the past by the clues that artifacts leave us. We have clues of lost worlds, yesterday’s people, and tomorrow’s world. The clues give us an understanding of whom we are today." - Caryl Westergren©

Arp sculpture

Caryl is restoring the famous Arp sculpture. 2009  would like to know the main conservation and restoration problems paintings can have. What are the ABC's of art conservation and care of paintings?

  A. Consider the environmental impact displaying and storing paintings - The main environmental variables include: lighting, relative humidity, temperature, pollution, and biological activity. Understand general light and its effect on various materials. B. Basic precautions of cleaning important paintings - Common household cleaners and every day cleaning techniques could ruin a painting. Solvents can destroy painting by dissolving it. C. Basic handling of a painting - This is a process that is requires diligence. Following the proper handling technique can avoid most damage to paintings caused during the handling process. Use the examine and plan approach. Step 1.examining; Step 2. planning; Step 3. rehearsing; Step 4. one at a time; Step 5. clear objects. For as long as I can remember, I heard when handling valuable pieces never forget - two hands! -cw



Basic conservation and restoration information about metal sculpture. How do you conserve metal?   I inherited some sculptures and I don't know haw to take care of them.

Care of Sculptures  Your First Metal Objective - For historic artifacts and sculptures and makers’ stamps with important surface features or anything special to you.  In general, I am not writing about those rusty tools that were left out all winter - go freestyle and check other sites, or ask us for specific help about your stuff. 

 The objective is to keep valuable metal objects free of dust, debris, and oily residues. Corrosion is the primary means by which metals deteriorate. Most metals corrode on contact with water (and moisture in the air), acids, bases, salts, oils, aggressive metal polishes, and other solid and liquid chemicals.  Corrosion happens when metal is exposed to gaseous materials like acid vapors, formaldehyde gas, ammonia gas, and sulfur containing gases. A main deterioration including breakage, dents, and scratches from accidents and mishandling. For more specific information about how to clean your important object, contact a professional conservator.  Conservators can help you safely care for your objects yourself or can provide these services for you.

Basic Metal Cleaning Practices -  Repeated polishing or cleaning with chemical solutions will gradually eat away plating, surface decoration, engraving, maker’s marks, and monograms. In an emergency - do rinse with clean water; use a hose with water to rinse a sculpture or artifact. Dry off gingerly with light pats or not at all. You could buy wax paste - waxing can be done if you can not find a conservator. Do not use strong chemical cleaning solutions; it causes surface metal to be gradually dissolved. In general, it is not a good idea to polish, or scrub special metal artifacts very often.  Do not use a wire brush on an electric drill to aggressively clean important surfaces like sculptures, maker’s stamps, or historically important signs. It is best to use the most mild and non-abrasive methods for cleaning metals.  If it is feasible I recommend that you hire a professional conservator to help you care for these significant metal artifacts, at lease twice a year. cw

Good bye for now. Top

 “The ideas feelings and thoughts of these people who are long gone are in these historical artifacts. I am grateful for artifacts that were left behind - through them we are able to see and feel what once was; we can begin to understand the people who made them. I wonder, what were they going through and how it felt to make these things. I think about this as I am restoring an artifact."

 The Students' Art Corner    For the Art Corner questions, from educators and students, please allow five working days for the response.Home Gallery About Westergren For StudentsCopyright ©;Caryl Westergren; All rights reserved. No part of this site is to be copied without the written permission of  Caryl Westergren


Westergren The Art of Original Painting.  Caryl Westergren The Award Winning Painter. Professional artist Caryl Westergren is a painter and sculptor, who also works with art conservation and restoration.

Westergren explores the possibility of modern concepts of sculpture and painting through developing a unique personal style while maintaining an originality of design. The Art of Original Painting of Westergren.


Original Paintings

 In loving memory of my sister Lu-Ann Westergren 1953-2003

I miss you and I love you.