How Color Theory Can Help You With Your Framing

Color plays a pivotal role in a visual artist’s work. Having an understanding of the basics of color theory can help create a logical structure for color and help to understand how color is formed. There are three main categories in color theory: The color wheel, color harmony and the context of how colors are used. In this blog post, we will be focusing on color context.

Color context is how color behaves. Meaning, how it is represented in relation to other colors (and shapes). Looking at certain different colors can affect the way we perceive other colors. For example, the way you view the brightness of a mid gray (hue and tone) is altered when placed adjacent to other colors.

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Observing the effects that colors have on each other is a starting point in better understanding the relativity of color. One of the ways understanding color can help you is when you are framing your work.

The mat you choose for your work can change the look of your image based on its relationship to the values, saturation and the warmth or coolness of different the hues. Lets look at a couple of examples of how you can use your understanding of color when framing your work.

Nick's Favorite Framing projects from 2017

As we start the new year I wanted to review some of my favorite framing projects from last year. If you see any framing techniques or styles that you would like to replicate with one of your own pieces, stop on down for a one-on-one framing consultation!

Vintage David Bowie Poster

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Hand Painted Kenyan Rug & Pillowcase

 

A Mark Hamill Signed Star Wars Poster

 

Stephen Sheffield's Hand Sewn Collage

 

Andrew Seguin's Cyanotypes for Panopticon Gallery's First Exhibition

 

A Selection from Newport Art Museum's 'be of love and other stories'

Holiday Framing

Everyone has those prized images from their past or beautiful images of their children or grandchildren. You've got to do them justice and get those memories framed. Framed images make great presents for the holiday season or any other time of year. We here at Panopticon have a huge range of custom and ready made frames for your treasured images.

When you come in to the shop, our staff will be there to work with you through all of the steps of framing an image. First we will help you pick out a frame and mat color and shape that suits your image. Then we will discuss mounting and glass options. Our job is to make sure you love whatever display we come up with. We also work within your budget to make your image look the best that it can without breaking the bank.

Somerville Toy Camera Festival

 Francine Weiss

Francine Weiss

About the Festival:

Since 2013, the Somerville Toy Camera Festival has celebrated the quirky and creative results that can happen when photographers are forced to loosen their controls, submit to the light and embrace the accidental. Each year since, the Festival has brought a wide range of toy camera photography by US and international artists together in simultaneous shows at galleries throughout the city, and featured related programming including artist talks/panel discussions, workshops, social events, and a darkroom day.

This year the guest juror was Professor Christopher James who is the Director of the MFA photography program at Lesley College of Art and Design in Boston.

 

  Liz Ellenwood  with the Gold Holga Award!

Liz Ellenwood with the Gold Holga Award!

What is a toy camera?

Holga, Diana and LOMO just to name a few. They are simple and inexpensive film cameras where you have little to no control over shutter speed and apertures. Common qualities of images made with toy cameras are vignetting, soft focus, light leaks and other distortions. It is the true point-and-shoot camera!

Toy camera photography has been widely exhibited at many popular art shows, such as the annual "Krappy Kamera" show at the Soho Photo Gallery in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Various publications such as Popular Photography magazine have reviewed the Diana camera in its own right as an "art" producing image maker. Several books have also featured the work of toy cameras, such as The Friends of Photography's "The Diana Show", "Iowa" by Nancy Rexroth, and "Angels at the Arno" by Eric Lindbloom.

 

When is the exhibition?

The 2016 Somerville Toy Camera Festival will take place in September-October, with exhibitions at three non-profit spaces in Somerville MA: Nave Gallery Annex, Washington Street Gallery, and Brickbottom Gallery. For a full list of opening dates check here.

In addition,  The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA will have a walk-in camera obscura built by artist Marian Roth! The installation of the camera obscura in a small gallery at the Griffin will take place on September 8, and is open to the public. The camera obscura will be accessible to visitors during regular Griffin Museum hours through October 2, 2016.

 Liz Wood

Liz Wood

How are we involved?

We have been proud sponsors of the Somerville Toy Camera Festival for the past few years. We offer a 15% discount for the exhibiting artists of the Festival for their scanning, printing & framing needs. Every year we look forward to seeing what each artist has created with their plastic cameras!

Custom Wood Frames

We love these custom wood frames from a local wood worker. The details and precision are amazing! Each molding can be made with Ash, Cherry, Maple, and Walnut woods with the option of staining or painting.

Here is Tony King's photograph we framed with the clear lacquered ash & maple splines:

Assembling the matte, glass & frame

Finished framed photograph

Detail of the maple spline

One hanging option: french cleat

Second hanging option: wire with d-rings

Packing Tips: Safe ways to wrap & handle Your Artwork

Here at Panopticon we have seen it all for packing material; Blankets, towels, trash bags or worst of all nothing. Framing is expensive and we have some tips on how to keep your frames and artwork safe!

  1. Cardboard Corner Protectors

You can always DIY them yourself using scrap cardboard, buy them from Amazon in small batches or order bulk from Uline. This will prevent any rubbing / scratching of the frames. Corners are helpful if you have multiple frames that are all the same size. However, this will not protect the whole frame or the glass/PlexiGlas.

  1. Properly Stack them

Make sure to stack your frames vertically and to place them glass to glass and back to back while storing them. This will prevent the hardware from rubbing against your frame. The metal hardware and wire will ding the wood or scratch metal frame very easily. This goes for when they are wrapped or unwrapped.

  1. Bubble Wrap

Keep your towels for the beach! While towels might be helpful at home this is not a good or effective solution for preventing damage, as there is no spring to the towel. Foam wrap or bubble wrap will take the impact and prevent your frame from getting damaged. You can order bubble online, pick it up from Uline or your local office supply store.

  1. Use Two Hands

Always pic up your frame using two hands! If it is a large image and you grab it by the top it can pull and your glazing can pop out of the frame. Ten and two just like driving school.

  1. Have us wrap it for you!

If all of this material is too much to handle we can ease your burden! Wrapping images properly is fun for us. We take care of your beloved artwork and make sure it is safe for handling and transport. If it is local we can deliver it for you or even ship your images. Let us know!

The bling bling frame

We recently framed a piece for a client in a beautiful water gilded frame and wanted to share the intricate process the frame makers go through to create such stunning frames. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67LM4Iovll4

The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold.

Here is the frame we used:

Lindsey Beal - Lost Art of Daguerreotypes

Rhode Island based artist, Lindsey Beal brought some of her recently created Daguerreotypes into the office for framing. She made these photographs while at a workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Also, she teaches at Rhode Island College and New Hampshire Institute of Art. Daguerreotype, an alternative process, has become a lost art form due to the labor involved in creating them. The process was first created in 1839, the artist polished a sheet of silver plated copper, treats it with fumes that makes its surface light-sensitive. Then the plate is exposed in a camera.

Ms. Beal reviewing her work with owner, Paul Sneyd.

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 Liz framing Ms. Beal's daguerreotypes