Monday, February 18, 2013


Not a whole lot has been going on here lately. I've been anticipating framing a few of my art pieces (some will be getting custom made mahogany veneered frames) but while I'm at it, I thought I'd also rummage through all my other art, and see what else I had lying around that was worthy of finally getting framed.

So for the past few days, I've been unpacking some of the framed ones, and going through all my unframed and "loose" art that are in a few different places (huge "under bed" rolling box and 2 portfolios).

The one that "started it all" is a piece of pen and ink done by my best friend from high school. I've had this piece for a few years, and I've been meaning to get it framed since I got it. I thought I was going to need a specially cut matte for it, but I found one that fits perfectly. This is one of the pieces that will get a custom frame. This one will probably be done in a light coloured wood. Perhaps bird's eye maple or curly maple.

She does AMAZING work. She takes commissions, and has had gallery exhibits. You can get her contact info here if you're interested:

The other two pieces that I really want to get framed are the two in this photo with the tan background. They are two fairly large sized architectural prints that I got for an absolute STEAL at a yard sale a few years ago.

The black framed print is from 1836 and shows the "Radcliffe Camera" (part of Oxford University in London). The building (library) is still standing and is jaw-droppingly beautiful. You should definitely Google photos of it.

The upper print of a church is an old one that I picked up at a second hand store for 5$, and the one matted in teal is from Value Village.

These are most of my framed pieces. Some of these were hung in my apartment, while others have been in storage, or are more recent finds.

The embossed brass ship is fairly new (Salvation Army find), and the unframed oil painting in the lower right is also a fairly recent acquisition.

The Parliament pen and ink is one that I particularly like, since I have toured the Parliament buildings dozens of times. The artist is F Schanberger, and I don't see a date, but I've had this piece since the mid to late 90s.

The robins are a print, and the back has a stamp from a gallery in Milton Ontario. My Mom and I found it at a yard sale, and we both wanted it, but I let her have it. For the longest time it was on the dresser in her bedroom (on a little stand), but when she moved out, she gave it to me.

The blue jay print is named "Winter Vigil" and it is a signed and numbered artist's proof 46/54 by Pierre Francis Surt├ęs (1987). All of those are yard sale finds (under 10$).

The photo in the lower left is a Lupin (a type of flower) with a water drop suspended between the leaves. It's a photo by a friend of mine that I met on LiveJournal many years ago from Sweden. Her name is Jeanette Astrand. I think this was taken around 2002 or 2003.

The sailboat with the grey/pink matte is unsigned but dated 1980 on the back paper.

There's actually a short and funny story about the oil painting. I originally saw it at a yard sale. I quite liked it, but it was slightly damaged, looked really "old fashioned" and I wasn't sure if it would fit-in or where I'd put it, so I passed on it. Later in the day, I regretted the decision.

Several weeks later, I got my second chance at it when it turned up in Value Village. I kind of kicked myself (because it was priced for probably double what I would have paid at the yard sale), but I was happy to get it.

It's not super old. The wooden frame behind the canvas is put together with routed tracks in the corners, and the wood is pretty clean/light. The paint is old enough to be fully crackled though. If I had to guess, I'd say it's from anywhere between 1950-1980. It's not signed, but one side of the canvas has Patenaude written in pencil on it. There are some Patenaudes in Cornwall, so the piece could be local (or from the area).

These are the ones I turned up today. They're sort of a hodge-podge of styles.

In the upper left is a painting I did a few years ago (2003) of a Buddha on a lotus. It was originally a Photoshop stamp/brush and I liked the design, and I made it into a painting. The hard part was making the background red, which is a mix of several different reds, spots, and a salt technique.

The butterfly next to it is also one of mine, also done in 2003, and it's a Painted Lady butterfly. It was a watercolour version of a photo by my friend Jeanette (from Sweden).

The pen and ink over it, is a piece that I'm not even sure where it came from. It's an original (since some of the pen strokes scratched the paper surface), and it's signed by Dwayne St Louis 1978. I don't know anything about it, but it's pretty well done. I probably picked it up at a yard sale.

Next to it, a "Water Pig" Chinese ink calligraphy panel (a gift).

In the lower left, a pen and ink drawing done by my Mom! Yup, I have a bunch of her old art stuff from high school and some from a course she was taking, and this is one of the ones I really like. It's not perfect, and you can tell she was having trouble with the pen, since the paper is torn away in several places, but I definitely want to get this one framed. We have several artists in the family, but I don't really have much art done by any of them. My Mom is pretty good (these days she's into card making/stamping) we also have an aunt (deceased) who was a pretty good painter (oil paint), and one of my uncles is an incredibly gifted carver. He was featured in Canadian Woodworking magazine a few times. I also have an aunt who does tole painting, an uncle who is a blacksmith, and my Dad does professional photo retouching in Photoshop in his spare time - and not dinky simple stuff either).

Lastly, two very colourful prints by an Ottawa artist Diane June Arnold. Both are "around or before 1998" as far as I can tell (based on the info card on the back). I really like the one with the birds. The lady is a bit odd (and kind of Picasso influenced) but I liked the bright colours. I don't remember paying very much for these; maybe 10-15$ for the pair?

Also in the upper right you can see some of my many antique frames (small ones).

I also have this huge piece. The sheet is 18" x 24". I photographed it on top of the previous pieces to show the scale a bit. It was a fairly early piece I did in high school art class (1999). It's an oil pastel on "construction paper". I've always been a bit pissed that it was done on such crappy paper, but that's what we were given. It's not an acid free paper, and even though I've had it carefully stored for years, the paper is very brittle and tears easily. I'd like to frame it, but it could be tricky/expensive, since I'd definitely need special UV filtering glass on this one to help keep it from disintegrating. I would probably crop-off the sides a bit. I'm also not sure what colour of matte would look nice with the charcoal grey background.

Note: some of the segments in the wings and chest are crooked and different sizes, but that's how it was on the original piece, which is a 1000+ year old Egyptian artifact.

So yeah, that's some of my art. I have more (mostly drawings), and some of these will be grouped together (gallery wall) while others will be stand-alone pieces. I haven't really decided what's going where, but now I have a better inventory of what I have to work with.

I also went through my entire "under bed box" full of art and paper, and I've realized that I have a sh*tload of watercolour paper, and about 4-5 blank hardboard canvases (like the Buddha one). I really should do some more watercolours & gouache.


  1. You have some great pieces. It's nice that things compliment each other but aren't matchy-matchy. My two favorites are the pen and ink bird at the top and the colorful woman holding a bird.

    1. Yeah I like things that match a bit, but I don't like it when it's too matchy-matchy either. I'll probably end up grouping most of the line drawings together, or similar themed ones together. I have a thing for B&W architectural prints, and I love birds.

  2. You have some nice art; I really like the Egyptian one you did in high school.

    I still have to go pull my boxes of art from storage. We have boxes and boxes of art and will likely have to get rid of most of it. This house of ours has very little wall space for framed art.

    1. Thanks. I used to be really into Egyptian stuff back in high school, but that interest has waned considerably in the past years. I still like that piece though.

      I'm going to need to plan out where the best spots for art will be. I also have several beautiful antique wall clocks that will likely take the "better" spots, but in places like the dining room (where 2/3 of the walls will eventually be board and batten) it would work nicely. Same with the hallways.

      I also like the idea of "art shelves" where framed pieces are just casually laid and overlapped on them. Or carefully set-up on a flat surface (dresser top, etc).