romanglass (romanglass) wrote in magne_f,

all I want for Christmas

Every year my husband asks for a Christmas wish list from me. He always stresses about finding just the right gift, because he wants to know it is something I want - but he also likes to surprise me. So I always go through the exercise of putting a few ideas together, DVDs or books, jewelry, clothes, whatever, and he always glances at it and then gets me something completely off the list because he wants me to be surprised. Which is super nice of him to go to the effort, but also a little annoying to make me come up with a list he's going to ignore anyway ;-)

This year he's asked me again what I want and I have tried something new: I have asked for just one thing. I want my Alpha Beta print framed. I know this may jinx it completely, because he won't want to give me the one thing that won't surprise me, but it is truly the only thing I want. I have been very blessed this year with experiences and friendships that fill my heart, I honestly don't want *things*.

I have had the print stored away in the box it arrived in, and have only taken it out a couple of times this year to look at it and play the Word Symphony vinyl, so last night I got the box out and showed him the print again. We talked about what color the frame should be (I was thinking silver, black or pine) and he suggested gold. Because it would match his Paul Stanley painting frame. Now that would have been a surprise!

I know very little about the proper way to frame a print, the right kind of glass to choose, the mounting, etc. And my guess is that my husband knows even less about it than I do. Help? Anyone know some resources online that explain how not to f** up good art by framing it badly? Or am I too stressed about something that is actually quite simple?

The only reason I worry about this is the experience of taking my brother's art to be framed a few years ago. I was told that because it was oil on paper and not canvas, it would have to be framed under glass - but if it had been oil on canvas, it would not have had to have glass over it. I would never have known such a thing, and it was a bit worrying to think I could have done the wrong thing with disastrous effect on his beautiful work.

My brother made the painting back in college. He has always had raw talent but doesn't thrive in formal education settings, and after one year of art school he left and hasn't painted since. This is a bit heartbreaking for all of us, who watched his talent develop and change over the years, he'd sit for hours at the dining room table making detailed line drawings and experimenting with charcoals and watercolors. He won art awards in high school and even completed a program at the Corcoran for young artists. To know him is to know he is an artist - he was born to it, and absolutely has a gift that was encouraged at every step of his life.

It is so sad that he doesn't use his talent any more. We have discussed it a few times, and it has to do with a lack of confidence and direction after so much time. He also admitted that he wouldn't know the first thing about marketing himself as an artist, that part of it intimidates him. I told him he could have someone else do that for him, he need only do the creative work, but that is only one small part of what's holding him back I think.

My brother has his portfolio from college stored in a jumble in the back of his closet, and a couple of years ago I asked him to get everything out so we could see them. One oil work of his struck me as particularly good and I praised it so much that, quietly, some months later, he presented it to me as a gift. When he saw how much I liked it, he searched through his oils and supplies and touched it up, fixing some of the damage that several house moves had done to it. Only when he was satisfied with it would he let it out of his hands, and I was so incredibly touched that he went to so much effort for me. He gave away a couple of other drawings and paintings to family members, and then everything went back into the closet. I had hoped that seeing it all again would spark some creative energy for him, but unless he is painting in secret (a distinct possibility actually), he has not shown any interest in picking it up again.

Here is his portfolio slide of the painting:

Pitcher and lemons

And here is the framed painting in my kitchen:


(He unfortunately had to trim the edges a bit due to some storage damage over the years. All the more reason I stress about framing/displaying art properly, it must have been so sad to have to trim his work like that!)

Keep in mind this is the work of an 18-year-old art student. I love the way the light shines off the brass pitcher, that is not an easy technique (so I hear).

And since I'm already bragging about my brother's talent, here is more of his work:

Raggedy Ann





Anyway, I need to do some research on the best way to frame my Alpha Beta print and find the perfect place to hang it where everyone can see it. The best place in the house is the kitchen - the center of much of our family time - and this is already taken by a 1/1 that is priceless to me :-)

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