Painting Conservator David Marquis recently had the opportunity to compare two Gauguin paintings to solve a mystery – which was painted first? He uses technical examination of the paintings (x-ray, infrared scanning, etc) to get as much information as possible. He regularly uses problem-solving skills in his work. Do you like a mystery? Do you enjoy problem solving? What kind of tools do you use to solve problems or mysteries? Also, what in Marquis’ background led him to this type of work? How does his art incorporate problem solving?

Although his job is not to re-create or match the work of the original artist when he restores paintings, his work must match to the untrained eye. Using a picture or photo of a painting from a famous artist, tear the picture in half. Give one half to a friend and keep one for yourself. Decide on a final scale in advance. Re-create one half of the picture as well as you can and have your friend re-create the other half. Do they still match when you put your pieces side-by-side?