Ines Santy ACR
About MeI have been conserving oil paintings for 25 years and have received accredited status since 2003. I initially trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Antwerp, after which I received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Conservation and Restoration from the Royal Academy of Art in Ghent. I gained experience for two years at Historic Scotland Stenhouse Conservation Centre in Edinburgh and was subcontracted on a part-time basis for 3.5 years by Clare Meredith ACR in her Conservation Studio at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry. I have studied classical drawing from the age of 11 at the Municipal Academy of Art in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, where I was taught drawing of still life (4 years), portrait (1 year) and life drawing (6 years) in the weekends. I enjoy bringing paintings back to life, in particular retouching and reconstructing paint losses. This may also entail structural work.
Over the last twenty years the Edinburgh conservator Ines Santy has dealt with a range of concerns in connection with the work of Jon Schueler (1916 – 1992): dust and dirt from paintings hanging in public places for over 50 years, mud stains from a flooded storage place, mishandling by galleries, distortions formed by wooden stretchers aging at different rates, and wear and tear (before every painting was fitted with wooden stripping to protect the surface while being stored). Her care and thoughtful assessment of each case has been most gratifying, and her ongoing research into new or alternative methods to meet serious challenges has been repeatedly successful. I entrust Schueler’s work to her with complete confidence and thank Ines for her commitment and extraordinary skill.
Work carried out for Magda Salvesen, Curator, Jon Schueler Estate.Conservation/restoration of a large collection of oil paintings by Jon Schueler, the majority painted in the 1970s.
Ines has done excellent restoration work for me in the last few years on a number of pictures and her approach in every case is very professional and to the highest standard. I thoroughly recommend her services to anyone seeking restoration of their artworks.
Work carried out for Robert Younger, private client.Conservation/restoration of the oil painting 'View of a Lake' by Jacques Matthias Schenker, painted around 1900.
We contacted Ines as a favourite oil painting of mine had a tear in the canvas, which I was keen to have repaired. The painting is of a man with a characterful face and it was painted by my great great aunt Zoe Inman around 1890. Ines was great. When we first met, she took me through the stages of repair and suggested a restoration of the painting at the same time to bring out the colours and remove grime of the last 100 years. We discussed and agreed the cost of the work. When we collected the painting a few weeks later I was thrilled. The painting has come alive with her work. Although I know where the tear was in the canvas, I really cannot see the repair. He is now back on the wall where he belongs, looking at us and us looking back at him! Ines demonstrated her professional knowledge and ability but she was also empathetic to the painting and the character she has restored. Thank you Ines.
Work carried out for C Cameron, private client.Conservation/restoration of the oil painting 'The Man' by Zoe Inman, painted around 1890.
I own a painting which was accidentally damaged during the late summer of 2019. As it depicted my late grandfather, it is a very valuable picture in personal, rather than monetary terms, so I wanted to find the best person to repair the tears it has sustained. On a recommendation, I contacted Ines Santy to ask for her professional services, as both the material and the paint were in need of careful restoration. Ines was very welcoming and immediately examined the painting, before accepting the commission and telling me that she would attend to the necessary repairs and keep me informed of her progress. This she did, so that I was aware of how matters were progressing. When she notified me that the restoration had been completed, I was absolutely delighted with the work she had done. The picture looks as good as new and I will be keeping her contact details in case any other pictures require her extremely professional attention.
Work carried out for Andrew Gray, private client.Conservation/restoration of the oil painting 'Harry Kebel Smith Wounded in Boer War' by Jennett Collins, painted in the early 1900s.
Icon conference at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: ‘Wet Paint: Interactions between Water and Paintings’: one of the lecturers was Clare Meredith ACR who talked about the Perth Museum and Art Gallery flood. Water based materials were used where possible for facings and consolidation. It was best to use very dilute glue for facings so that there was less of a problem removing them in the studio for treatment. Minimum consolidation was carried out on-site as too much caused problems later.
Course tutored by David Saunders and organised by International Academic Projects, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh: ‘Museum Lighting from Theory to Practice’: there is an increasing preference for cooler light sources (at the blue end of the spectrum). This may be related to our increased use of screen technologies, i.e. mobiles, tablets, TVs, computers etc., which tend to emit cooler light. LED lights have rapidly become very popular in museums and galleries. 50 Lux pushed up to 75 or even 100 Lux is defensible as older 60+ viewers need more light to view objects and paintings, but it shortens the life of the collection. The collection would then need to be rotated and given reduced exposure.
Health & Safety course for Conservators at the Main Office of The National Trust for Scotland, by Martin J Adlem, Health & Safety Advisor: according to the law you don’t need to fill in a risk assessment if you are self-employed or if the workplace has less than five employees. The largest cause of fire is arson. Water is the best extinguisher for paintings on fire. PFF3 are the best particulate masks to protect against mould.
Historic lighting seminar and demonstration by Dr Maureen Dillon, followed by a lecture of ‘Lighting the Royal Palace of Amsterdam’, at The National Trust for Scotland lecture room: cheapest candles made from animal fat would leave greasy deposits. Beeswax candles were extremely expensive and used only by churches and royalty. Blubber fat from sperm whales (candles) did not have side-effects to the environment, i.e. there was no smoke or smell. In the Amsterdam Royal Palace no LED lights were used in 2008 as the colour was not good and there were no warm lights. In the future it will change to LED lights.
BAPCR (British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers) visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: tour of the Conservation department and a presentation by Jacqueline Ridge, Keeper of Conservation, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh: in the past conservators used Perspex for travelling paintings, which meant a lot of handling (inserting and removing). Now paintings are permanently framed with low-reflective laminated glass. During the refurbishment of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery energy consumption saving was very important. All galleries are lit with LED lights. This meant a 47% energy consumption saving.