While waiting, a bit of framing

It’s Friday afternoon, too late to start anything, too early to go anywhere. I have an opening at Full Circle at 6 PM, and enough time to do something but too little to do much.

Waiting, that’s what I calls it.

So desultorily, here’s some tidbits:

Neighbor Jim built me some frames for odd-sized canvases. The price was reasonable and I thought the frames looked very good. They are a harder wood, less easy to dent than my off-the-shelf Ambiance Frames from ASW. The Ambiance frames are the best-looking for the price and the easiest, best designed I’ve found, but they are a bit fragile. (Of course, it would help not to drop them).

Here’s a  (slightly askew) photo of paintings in the Ambiance frames:

San Juan Retreat and Seal Rock 2, both 16 x 12″, oil on masonite, 2011.

And here’s  one that Jim framed for me:

From American Camp, San Juan National Historic Park, 12 x 48, oil on masonite, 2011.

All three paintings were done on-site, plein air, which means they were done on the 1/8- inch panels that fit into my wet canvas boxes. Panels can’t be framed like canvas on stretcher bars can because they provide no edge to screw into. So they require some kind of frame with grooves on the back to insert widgets to hold them in the frame.

Moreover, the three panels, for which there seemed to be no off-the-shelf frames,  needed to be butted up against one another.  Jim used a long piece of canvas, glued it across the back of the three panels, which were held tight in a vice. He squeegeed the canvas/glue/boards to get a decent bond, and then clamped it/them with a couple long slats while they dried. I thought this ingenious because it kept the final product light-weight; the frame added the necessary stability. We added a couple of braces in the secondary groove that Jim ran on the back of the frame to make the boards snug against the frame.

Jim’s frames are stained and show the grain of the wood; the Ambiance frames have no wood grain showing; their surfaces are hard and shiny, a bit more modern than the grained-look.

Speaking of framing in a totally different context, I finished a rather long Prequel/Review of Kathryn Cellerini’s exhibit at Full Circle, opening tonight. I found Cellerini’s work beautiful, and the ideas behind it challenging. Today as I was reading in the New Yorker about Oscar Wilde, the author, Alex Ross, noted the “modern struggle to inhabit an identity without being defined by it.” This struck me as a kind of framing problem.

Cellerini’s work reminds me a bit of Tracy Emin’s, as it comes out of  personal experiences and  memory, building on them through use of materials that bring those experiences back in artistic form. But in reading her website, I was struck by the different personae I saw in the variety of modes she engages in — installation sculpture with welded pipes and tea bags, woodblock prints with charcoal, conté pencil on watercolor paper,  highly academic artist statements, and straight-forward blog posts that most of us could have written. “The struggle to inhabit an identity without being defined by it.” Challenging, indeed.

To read more about Kathryn Cellerini as filtered through JOU, click here.

And so, I’ve managed to use up some time. I think I’ll go see if I can get further along in my packing of fabric to send to Sheila. I continue cleaning out my stash. Oh and here’s another tidbit of news for the day. I severed my ties with Edge, the Kansas Art Quilters’ exhibiting arm. I loved working with them and was proud of my affiliation, but I was finding it very difficult to produce the two works a year for their juried exhibits. I think my textile art suffered from neglect, but my energy levels as well as my immersion in painting has been keeping me from doing much with textiles. So a few days ago I wrote to remove myself from the Edge group. I’m giving more than a year’s notice, so I hope they’ll forgive me for opting out. That’s the last obligation to textile art that I have in my calendar. From here on, I’ll have to be really pushed to accept more exhibiting opportunities.

Not that I’m quitting my quilting email lists and textile groups, only that I’m now going into lurking mode, a cheerleader for the main actors. Another identity that I will inhabit. –June

This entry was posted in American Camp, Framing Oils, oil painting, Oregon coast, Portland, San Juan Island and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to While waiting, a bit of framing

  1. june says:

    Sheila, you’ve got it exactly right.

    Reva — clarity takes time. I’ve been circling this decision for more than a year, and it still gives me pangs to think of it. The quilted art folks were welcoming when I needed welcomed and supportive when I needed support, and altogether a very good way for me to grow in my art. So I owe them a lot.


  2. Reva Basch says:

    Good on you for having the clarity to make that choice.


  3. Sheila says:

    Sometimes cutting ties is remarkably easy, but I mostly find it difficult, even when I know it’s time to move on. I blame my mother and her early 20th century ideals of responsibility and always putting oneself and oneself’s best interest second – she could make me feel guilty in a heartbeat whether justified or not. And then there’s just that lingering desire to continue with something that was once pleasant and a good fit. It’s a little like my giving up the piano and all the other instruments I dabbled in, or exhibiting traditional work in traditional quilt shows. Time to step aside and as you so eloquently put it, be a cheerleader for the main actors.

    Glad I could be of service in helping you fill the time. 😉

    Love the trees framed up, btw. You are right about ASW having the best quality Ambiance frames. I ordered something similar from Cheap Joes and was greatly disappointed in the difference.


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