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I recently purchased this 1980 oil painting on wood (first one shown below) which was made by the local artist Jim Shipley and received it in the mail today. I purchased two of Mr. Shipley's paintings directly from him many years ago when he had an outdoor booth at a Gaithersburg Maryland craft fair. I now own 4 of his native American inspired oil paintings and I'd recently found this latest one for sale on eBay. I had an eBay saved search for his oil paintings because I love his work. I was the only bidder on this new one I suspect because he may not have been well known.
I seem to remember using a type of organic liquid on several of his other works that I owned. I don't want to apply any liquid that might damage the painting but I remember trying a small amount perhaps on the back of these paintings and then applying a coat of liquid which brought back the color in the wood. I have several products on my kitchen shelf which include Liquid Gold and Orange Glow; I have some old age related short term memory loss and believe that I may have instead used a bit of natural vegetable or corn oil. I believe that these two natural oils might be less harmful to the original painted surfaces. Whatever liquid I'd used darkened the wood surface just a bit (2nd, 3rd and 4th paintings below) and did not affect the paintings.
This is Mr. Shipley's biography; I believe that he passed away in 2002:
Born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 4, 1939, James Nicholson Shipley attended Loyola College and the University of Maryland before furthering his art education by graduating from the Art Center College of Design at Los Angeles in 1971. He was also a member of the prestigious Charcoal Club of Baltimore founded in 1889. n 1974 he was awarded the Prix de Paris by the famous Raymond Duncan Gallery of Paris. During his long career, he was honored by one-man shows in Los Angeles, Carmel, and Monterey, California; the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge in Virginia; and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Do you suppose curators should spray acrylic over the Mona Lisa? I think you should let your oil paintings grow old naturally and not worry about the color distortion. It's called "patina".
What happens in 20 years or so when the acrylic starts cracking and peeling along with the oil paint? My opinion.