Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
Home Artist Blog About Me Life in Alaska Purchase Site Index Speak
Home » Archives » August 2007 » What a Difference a Frame Makes, or: Frame Therapy 101

[Previous entry: "In the big scheme of things..."] [Next entry: "It's the Final Countdown"]

08/22/2007: "What a Difference a Frame Makes, or: Frame Therapy 101"

Last night I came home and began my daily �staring� routine�this is my sacred time to stand in front of a small wall crammed with my new works in progress and feel panicky and demoralized.

But then Aaron asked to see what one of them would look like framed, so I framed it and it looked much better�it looked really finished, in fact. I then proceeded to frame all of the pieces in the show, finished or not, just to get a sense of how the frame would change the overall feel of the pieces.

In a couple of cases, I�d painted too close to the edge and the lip of the frame was visually cutting off key bits in an unflattering way. But mostly the frames have put me at ease. For one thing, they have added a certain amount of weight and cohesion to the pieces and to the show as a whole. For the first time it actually looks like a show. And I still have a lot of work to do but it seems infinitely more doable.

Aaron is going to Gustavus on Friday for the memorial service and I�ve decided (for various reasons) to stay in Juneau. This will give me one last chunk of time to finish things up. This includes getting posters and post cards made, updating my mailing list, sending out emails, and a bunch of other stuff. I also need to stop at the gallery and photograph the wall where I�m going to hang my pieces. That way I can diagram out how I want the pieces to display and give it to the gallery to actually hang for me.

The gallery rep I talked to also suggested I get some help with pricing, since these new pieces are smaller than I normally do and both she and the other guest artist suggested I was undervaluing my work. Hmmm�I�ll have to think about that.

Oh, and Sat. night (after Stardust...excellent movie!) I went up to Rob Roy�s studio to check out some of his new work (looks great btw!) and he ended up giving me an amazing painting (my absolute favorite one from his last show) that he was supposedly going to PAINT OVER! Can you believe that!!!??? I would never paint over my own work. How many of you have ever painted over work that you�ve actually exhibited? Stop the insanity Rob! Please, I�m begging you!!!

The good news is that in my framing spurt I framed the new piece from Rob and it�s hanging up in the dining room and it looks fantastic.

Replies: 7 Comments

on Wednesday, August 22nd, Daniel North said

I actually paint over older pieces regularly... I also have been known to rework a piece 5 or 6 years after it was initially painted. I had three paintings in a show this summer that were started in the mid-90's and "finished" a week before the show opened this summer.

on Thursday, August 23rd, Kasia said

Frames add some dignity. I don't know how to explain it better. :) Your paintings are going to rock this show!!!

on Thursday, August 23rd, berry connell said

Today I ruined a picture of a rose.
Did it in oils only, went from too light to too dark, too warm to too cool, and back again...
The rose all but disappeared (it's a fake rose from Michael's, a beauty and on sale fer $1.26)
(no, I'm not spamming for michaels)
Anyway, what a wretch of a picture.
Tomorrow I will start something else.
In several months from now, I may attempt to straighten out the rose.
THAT'S what is great about FAKE flowers.

On the other hand, the self portrait I did was so terrible, I scrapped off the paint and will just paint something else over it.

Hope yer show is coming along, even if you are sittin' 'round there alone.

Just paint something.

on Tuesday, August 28th, D said

Hmm, I'm guessing you shouldn't have said "orgy." I hope you have a good weekend and get everything pulled together for your gallery Friday! :O ;)

on Tuesday, August 28th, Elise said

Hey Daniel, I think we actually talked about painting over old pieces my opinion canvas (panel whatever) is cheap, why not keep it all. I've sold pieces way after the fact...pieces I hated and nearly threw away, but the people who buy them love them and they bring them pleasure and that's saying something...that's part of what it's all about, for me anyway.

I even have a hard time "finishing" a painting (as Berry mentioned) after it's been exhibited. Just a weird thing for me, I need to be able to move on.

And Kasia, I think you're right, frames add that "I'm finished" touch that do give them some added dignity. I'm not sure the paintings will "rock" but I'm almost finished anyway so that's a relief.

And d (dad?) I'm not sure where that spam came from but I did delete it. Yikes!

on Friday, August 31st, Rob Roys said


one of the paintings i was going to paint over ended up as one of a final trio of possible purchases by a collector.

on Friday, August 31st, Elise said


I told ya so!