Posted on

A Gallery Owner’s Guide to Framing: Why it’s framed…or Why not?

I wrote this for my newsletter and it got alot of attention…so it is for you: (PS, wrote this a few years ago, but i guess i never hit “publish” because it was still in my drafts…oops)

We’ve all been there. We find a great little piece and think “I love it, but I don’t love the frame.” The Gallery owner may say, “No Problem..I’ll take it out” or…No Can Do.” Why? What’s the difference and what can you do about it? (This custom frame job would make me reluctant to unframe!)

First, “why can’t I buy that without the frame?”. I’ve heard the question enough, I know a good percentage of you ask. Most of the time, the answer is simple. In many cases, shipping or packing a piece of work without framing may significantly increase the likelihood of damage to the piece. Take a pastel, oil pastel, or traditional watercolor, and taking the piece out of the frame, and in this case, the glass, put’s the piece at risk. Pastel is loosely affixed to it’s media, usually an archival “sanded” paper. It is framed substantianlly away from the glass and the mat. This is done to prevent static electricity from pulling pastel from the paper and sticking it to the mat and glass. Taking it out of its frame requires great care in packing and shipping (read: $$). Not that it can’t be done….just that it takes much more care in packing. Similarly, oil pastel works on paper require framing behind glass, because they never really dry. Shipping without adequate protection increases the likelihood of smudging. Traditional watercolor (on paper) is susceptible to damage from moisture and scratching.

That said, there are still ways to avoid the dangers and get the frame job you love. The first possibility is to take the whole piece to your favorite framer and have it unframed, and reframed by a professional. Why go to that expense? If your piece is not a “stock” size, then cutting mats, mounting, spacing and framing can make the most prolific artist shudder. I seldom frame my own work. I’m the professional at painting. Let the framing professional do the framing. I tend to wind up with bloody fingers and great stress. If, on the other hand, your piece is a “standard” or “stock” size, it may be as simple as picking up a precut mat and frame from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. So, what is a stock size? 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 11 x 14, 12 x 16, 16 x 20, 18 x 24 (all in inches) are standard stock sizes for most pre-made frames, many premade mats and many pre-packaged paks of glass and foamcore.

If your original is 15 1/2 x 22 (a standard 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper) or other non-stock size, you may find it difficult to do it yourself. The warehouse stores (like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s) are often a less expensive option, though they won’t offer as wide a range of high quality framing options as most professional frame shops. Personally, I use the services of Jim and Lisa Cox, (yes, Jim is an excellent artist) at Taos Do It Yourself Picture Framing, in Taos. No, you don’t have to do it yourself…but they’ll help you if you’re so inclined.

What about those new watercolors on canvas? Those oils and acrylics on canvas…all with painted edges, unframed? They are actually suitable as they are..and often hang that way in galleries and homes, and museums. Unframed canvases don’t work in your decor? Ask your frame shop about “floating Canvas frames”. These frames, are as high quality as any other wood moulding, will “float” the canvas in the frame, allowing those painted edges to be seen while giving a more traditional look to the piece. More and more artists are moving to the canvas, with new canvas being “watercolor ready”. I love it. I love that the canvas can take layers and layers of watercolor, that I can finish it with protective, invisible, non yellowing varnish, and that there is no glass or frame necessarily reguired, saving me and my customer LOTS OF MONEY! If I can save $200-$400 in framing, just think what you save when you buy it! Plus, remember those standard sizes above? Most stock canvases are in those sizes as well. It’s not until you get into large, custom stretched canvas that you get outside those sizes.

So…next time you feel prompted to ask about that frame, consider this article..What is the medium? Are you shipping it? Can you get it safely home? But by all means, ask. I’ll answer your questions and help you choose the best course.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Please follow and like us:
0
Posted on

Watercolor Sunday

Typically Sundays are for watering the plants, doing the laundry and spending the afternoons in my studio. Today, I begin a new experiment. Today, I paint at the Angel Fire Visitors Center. From 1pm to 4pm on Sunday afternoons, I’ll paint there as live demo and hopefully get some new work done at the same time!

Which reminds me, the image in the header is a new pastel that I did when taking a class from Martin Pavletich (great fun!). I love pastel. The big issue with it is that it really must go behind glass. Sigh.

Anyhoo….This Sunday is Watercolor. Next week maybe acrylic, or pastel or scratchboard. What do I hope to accomplish? Sales, of course. Sales of my work, my DVDs and private lessons and workshops. Plus, it will just plain be fun!

So, if you’re in Angel Fire on a Sunday, drop by the Visitor Center in the afternoon and say hi!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Please follow and like us:
0
Posted on

Back in the Studio

It’s been months…maybe even more than a year. It took me about two weeks to finish up the reorganization of the home studio. I still need to paint walls, but they’ll do for now. And I’ve been painting like my life depended on it. My feet hurt, my back hurts…but my soul is happy.

I had to do this because I don’t really have much room to paint at the new gallery. I do have a table, but can’t work on anything larger than about 16 x 20 because the palette and water have to be on the same table with the canvas. Here, I have room for a 48″ wide canvas, and I’m lovin’ it.

I showed you pics of the previous disaster, so here is what it looks like now, and the work I have finished in the past couple of days.

First, the new studio:
This is looking in from the door. Gone is the cumbersome (but nice) big desk left over from days when this room served as office and studio (before the gallery). This one (below) is looking to the right of the desk as you face it. Here I have an easel, and pastel station 1.
And this is looking back the other way and pastel station 2. So, there you have it….and now for the new work. Some of this is commissioned and pres-sold, some if it is not. Ready? Set? Here we go:
this is a two piece vertical diptich…One composition, two canvases. Each one is 24 high and 18 wide, Watercolor on Canvas. I thought I’d never finish this, and truth be told a few edges still need some work. Next we have two commissioned pieces:

this is 12 x 18 pastel “watered garden”. This one is 24 x 18, watercolor on canvas.

I’ve had a stack of unfinished pieces sitting around, and am now finishing them. Here’s one. It started out as a demonstration for a class…of painting watercolor on hot press paper, which is a whole different experience than painting on cold press paper..or canvas..or yupo. Typically, if I’m not working on canvas or yupo, it’s 140 lb cold press paper (Arches) Arches papers are hand pressed and made in France. I think it’s the best watercolor paper you can buy, and I’m working “traditionally” it’s Arches paper. The hot press paper tears much more easily so you have to work “fresh” without too many layers (just the opposite of the many layered approach I tend to use on canvas.) Anyway.. here it is:
I haven’t measured it, but I think it’s probably 12 x 16. And there is one more ( I told you I’d been painting like mad!) This one is watercolor on canvas, without too many layers. It is 16 x 12. It’s a traditional depth canvas so it’ll go it in a canvas frame…the edges too narrow to paint.
And there you have it, ladies and gents!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Please follow and like us:
0
Posted on

A Gallery Owner’s Guide to Framing: Why it’s framed…or Why not?

I wrote this for my newsletter and it got alot of attention…so it is for you:

We’ve all been there. We find a great little piece and think “I love it, but I don’t love the frame.” The Gallery owner may say, “No Problem..I’ll take it out” or…No Can Do.” Why? What’s the difference and what can you do about it?

First, “why can’t I buy that without the frame?”. I’ve heard the question enough, I know a good percentage of you ask. Most of the time, the answer is simple. In many cases, shipping or packing a piece of work without framing may significantly increase the likelihood of damage to the piece. Take a pastel, oil pastel, or traditional watercolor, and taking the piece out of the frame, and in this case, the glass, put’s the piece at risk. Pastel is loosely affixed to it’s media, usually an archival “sanded” paper. It is framed substantially away from the glass and the mat. This is done to prevent static electricity from pulling pastel from the paper and sticking it to the mat and glass. Taking it out of its frame requires great care in packing and shipping (read: $$). Not that it can’t be done….just that it takes much more care in packing. Similarly, oil pastel works on paper require framing behind glass, because they never really dry. Shipping without adequate protection increases the likelihood of smudging. Traditional watercolor (on paper) is susceptible to damage from moisture and scratching.

That said, there are still ways to avoid the dangers and get the frame job you love. The first possibility is to take the whole piece to your favorite framer and have it unframed, and reframed by a professional. Why go to that expense? If your piece is not a “stock” size, then cutting mats, mounting, spacing and framing can make the most prolific artist shudder. I seldom frame my own work. I’m the professional at painting. Let the framing professional do the framing. I tend to wind up with bloody fingers and great stress. If, on the other hand, your piece is a “standard” or “stock” size, it may be as simple as picking up a precut mat and frame from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. So, what is a stock size? 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 11 x 14, 12 x 16, 16 x 20, 18 x 24 (all in inches) are standard stock sizes for most pre-made frames, many premade mats and many pre-packaged paks of glass and foamcore.

If your original is 15 1/2 x 22 (a standard 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper) or other non-stock size, you may find it difficult to do it yourself. The warehouse stores (like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s) are often a less expensive option, though they won’t offer as wide a range of high quality framing options as most professional frame shops. Personally, I use the services of Jim and Lisa Cox, (yes, Jim is an excellent artist) at Taos Do It Yourself Picture Framing, in Taos. No, you don’t have to do it yourself…but they’ll help you if you’re so inclined.

What about those new watercolors on canvas? Those oils and acrylics on canvas…all with painted edges, unframed? They are actually suitable as they are..and often hang that way in galleries and homes, and museums. Unframed canvases don’t work in your decor? Ask your frame shop about “floating Canvas frames”. These frames, are as high quality as any other wood moulding, will “float” the canvas in the frame, allowing those painted edges to be seen while giving a more traditional look to the piece. More and more artists are moving to the canvas, with new canvas being “watercolor ready”. I love it. I love that the canvas can take layers and layers of watercolor, that I can finish it with protective, invisible, non yellowing varnish, and that there is no glass or frame necessarily reguired, saving me and my customer LOTS OF MONEY! If I can save $200-$400 in framing, just think what you save when you buy it! Plus, remember those standard sizes above? Most stock canvases are in those sizes as well. It’s not until you get into large, custom stretched canvas that you get outside those sizes.

So…next time you feel prompted to ask about that frame, consider this article..What is the medium? Are you shipping it? Can you get it safely home? But by all means, ask. I’ll answer your questions and help you choose the best course. Angel Fire ArtSpace…Putting Art within Reach.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Please follow and like us:
0