April 4, 2014


        Normally I don’t have a lot of pieces all framed at once - just enough for the current show, and when it’s over, I switch out which pieces are in frames for the next show.  But somehow as the winter snow disappears I’ve gotten myself completely snowed under with frames.  First, a solo show at the beautiful art gallery of a local private elementary school.  With about 50 pieces on display, this is the most I’ve ever hung at once.  I had to 
go out and buy some more frames to fit all the pieces I wanted to show.  That exhibit went up on March 25 and will stay up through the month of April.  And of course that means that I couldn’t use any of the same frames for another solo show that had to be hung April 1 at a library two towns over.  I had to buy another batch of frames to accommodate about 20 pieces there, plus start scavenging frames from the art hanging on our own walls here in the house!  Meanwhile, I also have a half dozen pieces up in a couple of group shows for Needham Open Studios right here in town, and they needed to be framed for display, too.  I feel like I’ve been framing non-stop for three weeks now!
        Some artists get their pieces professionally framed, but I never do.  Let me explain why:
1.  The framing would cost more than the art, which is just silly!
2.  Lots of people want to buy the pieces unframed to keep the cost down or so that they can get it framed themselves to their own taste.  For that reason I mat my pieces whenever possible to fit standard off-the-shelf frame sizes.
3.  I always do everything myself.  It’s just the way I like to work.  Drawing, carving, printing, matting, and framing, too.  (Same goes for my books.)
4.  I don’t want to have to store a million framed items.  Better to store most of my work flat and simply frame what I need for each show.  Each given frame can be reused until it sells.
        It’s true that my work may look a little less high-end professional this way, but I have no intention of being high-end.  (For more explanation of this, you can read my thoughts about the Price of Art.)  Besides, most of my frames look very nice indeed, and normally my system works just fine.  I only run into trouble when I have 4 shows up at once!  (Well, maybe 2 and 2 fractions.)  Anyway, thank goodness the two big exhibits will come down at the end of April, just in time for me to reuse their frames immediately and frame up everything to be shown at Needham Open Studios first thing in May.  And until then, I have a brief and welcome respite from the frames.

[Pictures: Tenacre solo show;
Sherborn Library solo show;
Town Hall group show;
Needham Library group show, photos by AEGN, 2014.]

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