Having a show in a gallery requires a lot more than painting. While the paint is drying, we are busy photographing the artwork, preparing digital images, and producing publicity materials such as posters, postcards, rack cards, press releases for newspapers and website, and writing artist statements. And then there’s framing, which includes taking stock of what frames are already in hand, ordering, and biting nails while waiting for them to arrive. It is a time consuming and repetitive chore, but I like it because it puts the finishing touches on the painting.
The first thing that I do is to attach the hanging wire to the inside of the stretcher bars with eyehooks. I like to use this method so that if I unframe and stack them, nothing protrudes from the back to poke the canvas. One might think worrying about this is unnecessary but the canvas, although looking pretty tough and durable, is vulnerable to deformation if anything pokes into it. The painting is flexible and plastic enough so that pressure will stretch it and result in an unsightly dent.
The frames that I use are floaters, which means that the painting sits inside the rim of the frame and the painting appears to float within the frame. There is no lip in the front of the frame to obscure any part of the painting. I get these beautifully finished maple frames from Franken Frames, and have been doing so for over a decade. They do a great job, and ship on time. They are wonderful people to deal with and I count on them year after year. The folks at Franken Frames do a great job not only of making the Frames consistently year after year, but also of packing. The frames always arrive in good condition. They are packed in great swathes of crushed newsprint, much more sustainable than plastic peanuts or Styrofoam.
Unpacking the frames is always a big job and results in my house being completely filled with long sheets of newsprint. In my quest to do my best effort with reusing and recycling, I straighten out as much of it as I can and use it to cover my work surface. It gives me a clean and absorbent padded surface that I can peel off when dirty or covered with oil paint. I
guess I am a bit obsessive to do this. But is a great surface to work on, and I can also scribble notes if I am listening to something interesting on NPR, or jot down the names of musicians that I like, or sketch out a new idea.
The frames attach in the back with metal offsets that screw into the stretcher bars of the painting. They go
together quickly and easily. The frames are flat and flush against the wall when hung. When frames come back from the gallery, I can unscrew the offsets and store the canvases in a compact stack, and reuse the frames if I use the same size canvas.