Along with the love of art and photography comes my obsession with framing. Vintage framing. Growing up, I always had a large collection of frames in which placed photos of friends and family. I preferred antique or vintage frames, but any frame would do. In part, this was due to my military brat upbringing and the longing to hold on to memories of friends after multiple moves or family I rarely saw (and in some cases never knew.) But I also think I got this from my Mother, Artist Jacqueline Stubbs. She was the same way. Every time I moved, one of her contributions to my unpacking would be the creation of a family wall. Here is one of her with me as an infant, on my current family wall. In this case the frame and the photo are vintage!!
Many of my picture frames have ended up in boxes and drawers in attempts to de-clutter. I still have this keen interest in the importance of framing, however. Earlier this year, in honor of my Mom, I decided to frame some of her portfolio pieces. The first one was taken to a frame shop in the mall. To be honest, I was too busy picking out just the right materials and not worrying about getting an estimate. It cost almost $300 (special mat, non-standard size, preservation glass…) Sometimes, a frame can make a picture or painting. Not necessary at that price! I recently started working in a gallery and nearby I discovered another gallery/frame shop called Sedona Joe’s.
What a relief! Sedona Joe’s has inventory from their parents framing business including moulding from the 50s and 60s. Being an electic collector of art work and frames, these folks scratched an itch with me at a much more affordable price. Sometimes they take some old stock and create pre-fab frames for sale. Other times, they will do custom framing. I picked out a few pre-fab frames, brought in some art work, and asked them to do their magic.
This undated water-color done by my Mom was found in a box of art supplies. Maybe she didn’t like it, because I never saw it. She liked it enough to sign it, however, and here it is framed in some vintage tiki style moulding. It looks great and reminds me of my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest.
The following painting was done by “wetlands painter” Pat Witt of The Barn Studio who my Mom knew from her years in New Jersey. It’s a very serene painting, but I love the way it looks in this elaborate frame.
The third one Sedona Joe’s did was this small shikishi board water-color done by my Mom. Rather than trim the board to match the frame, they suggested mounting it to the back, creating a shadow box effect. I love how the patina in the frame picks up the green in the painting. All done at a more affordable cost, but with great vintage moulding and impeccable attention to detail in the framing.
Did I mention thrift shop frames? Here are a couple of my own paintings framed using materials purchased at thrift shops: 1) a barn wood fame for my art lesson piggies inspired by Vernita Bridges Hoyt and 2) a fake vintage frame for my plein air madronas. Total investment in framing….$6.00. I think I can now afford to frame more stuff!
How do you preserve your favorite paintings, photographs or other memorabilia?