Friday, August 29, 2014

To frame or not to frame, that isn't the question

I was going to say that frames are like the icing on the cake... but really, they're more like shoes. You can get dressed up and look great, but the right shoes... well, maybe it's just me.

Anyway... I like frames. Not everyone cares to frame their artwork, preferring that it "speak for itself" and that's just fine. I'm generally happy when a painting is finished and when I add the right frame, it feels like the painting is happy too. Like it's settled in, not just another canvas with some paint on it.

So I need framing options and I have narrowed my choices to some fairly simple, but interesting, styles and a couple of wonderful sources. I'd been planning to write about custom frame sources next week, but this weekend there are some great sales on frames that are worth checking out.

Many of my paintings are living in beautiful and reasonably priced frames from Franken Frames. The company is in Tennessee and their customer service can't be beat. They will send free samples, expedite delivery if needed, have frequent sales and the owner often answers questions personally!

They also sell just about anything you might need for framing from linen liners to hardware including those soft little corner bumpers!

Here are some of my paintings framed in Franken frames -

© 2014 Dorothy Lorenze - painting at right is available at Muscoot next weekend

Franken Frames Labor Day weekend sale ends Tuesday: 25% off orders of $200 or more, 20% off orders up to $200.

Another good source for custom frames is Custom Frame Solutions. They also have a 25% off sale this weekend. Although their frames tend to be slightly more expensive, there is an excellent selection and all are well made. (Make sure you notice if the frame you choose comes assembled as some do not, but "hardware" is provided and easy to use).

Custom Frame Solutions website is well organized as you can search through wood frames by color - mahogany, walnut, maple, copper, etc. They used to offer 7" as their smallest frame side, but they are responsive to artists needs and now offer 5" sides. Since 6x 12" (Summer Heirlooms below) is one of my favorite sizes, it works for me! Daily Painters working on small paintings can now get 5x7" or 6x6" frames too.

Below are three paintings I framed in Custom Frame Solutions frames -

©2014 Dorothy Lorenze - all three will be for sale at Muscoot next weekend

Both companies have sales now and then so if your not quite ready to frame artwork or family photos you can join their mailing list to get future offers.
Thanks for joining me on my painting journey!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some summer paintings

It's hard to believe that the summer is practically over!

I've had a wonderfully art-focused summer including visits to galleries in Rockland, Alexandria, New York and Newport to view work by current representational painting masters like Sydney Bella Sparrow, Teresa Fischer, Adam Vinson, Justin Wood and of course, Todd M. Casey! So many exquisite paintings to examine, enjoy and be inspired by.

With the goal of having a variety of work for Muscoot in September, I've also managed to get quite a few paintings finished, which has been relaxing, rewarding and occasionally frustrating! The newest paintings of vintage flea market finds and organic farmers market offerings can be seen, up close and personal, at Muscoot Farm Gallery on weekends during September.

© 2014 Dorothy Lorenze
In addition to recent paintings there will be a selection of earlier color studies that will be available at very reasonable prices. The exhibit opens Saturday September 6th and continues on weekends from noon to 4pm during September. And if you are in the area, please join me at a simple reception on Sunday September 7th from 1-3pm. You can also visit Muscoot's Sunday Farmer's Market!

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tiny Bubbles... in the paint...

Remember Don Ho's "Tiny bubbles, in the wine.." No? Well, never mind...but, it's kind of stuck in my head working on these grapes.

Lately I've been attempting smaller, simpler paintings to add to my September exhibit at Muscoot Farm Gallery. Working on less intricate compositions should be less time intensive so hopefully the price could be lower. Maybe. So far it seems like less really is more.

Here's what happened. My "simple" composition of two objects consisted of one wedge of lime and ...thousands of tiny champagne grapes.

Simple? Maybe. Quick? Not so much.

Maintaining a commitment to representational painting, I rendered every tiny glowing globe. Confirming, as if there was any doubt, that the devil is in the details. And the way of the devil is sometimes where the most fun lies.

Champagne Grapes ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze

This took awhile to finish and I was a bit worried that the grapes would ferment before it was done. Alas, no champagne for me. Although these little guys are called Champagne grapes, they are not actually used to make wine. Officially called Corinth grapes, the champagne name came from ads comparing them to champagne's tiny bubbles. These sweet, seedless grapes are also dried to make Zante currants.

And that's the "current" produce trivia. My pal Produce Pete would be proud.

(For those of you old enough to walk down a 1960s memory lane, here's a link to Tiny Bubbles. Fair warning: it's one of those inane tunes that gets stuck in your head!)

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey.