Monthly Archives: July 2011

It takes a very steady hand…

Have you ever been driving around and seen the custom ornamentation that’s typically found on hot rods or service trucks? There’s a team of local HVAC company panel vans around here that sport these embellishments on the back door next to the 1-800 number. Well, we don’t know about you, but that always makes us anxious just lookin’ at ’em. They’re not decals and it can’t be done with a machine. So that means someone in a garage somewhere is painting them on by hand. *shudder!* Being craftspeople who do custom jobs, we have an inkling of what’s involved. But that kind of “no-strikes-or-you’re-out” work seems nerve-wracking. So we were pretty curious to watch this video of a skateboard artist executing his craft. Take note: the 2 key ingredients are the feather thin brush that he’s continuously adjusting, and the way he uses both hands as a guide to gauge his spacing. Might look easy, but there’s no Cmd-Z button here.

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Got art?

Think custom framing isn’t for you ’cause you don’t own anything you wanna frame? Pfffft, that’s old world thinking! We’ve gotchya covered even if you walk in without a piece of art to your name. Big Picture Framing always offers 60% off custom framed prints if you order the print through us. That’s better than the employee discount! The offer is featured on our new website: 60% off the print and 60% off a custom frame for it. You can either come in to one of our stores and browse our catalogs or, if you enjoy shopping in your pajamas, you can visit the Lieberman’s website. In order to take advantage of the 60% off, you’ll have let us order the print for you, but Lieberman’s site is an easy way to look for the picture you want. It takes approximately 2 weeks for the art to arrive at one of our stores. Then you can come in and we’ll help you pick out a frame design that’ll make it unique for you. Super easy, and super awesome. There’s only a couple of gajillion images to choose from, including lesser known stuff along with some old favorites like these guys –

Virtually catching a wave as art

Definition of art #372 might be “when science meets creativity.” But positing that might tick off any scientists in the audience who could argue good science requires creativity already. Ok, so we’ll rephrase that and say art could be “whenever science is used toward an end that isn’t practical.” Case in point: data buoy station 46246 in the Pacific Ocean is collecting wave data in real-time for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It records the intensity and frequency of the water’s movement at this remote location (up, faster, down, to the side, up, slower, etc) and transfers it to a mechanical grid structure installed at The National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland. Now remember this rule that seems to be true for all really good art: it’s interesting to know all that stuff, but even if you didn’t, this would still be pretty cool… hyp-no-ti-zing even…

Let Ingrid Dabringer draw you a map


When you’ve lived in as many places as Ingrid Dabringer, maps take on a whole different meaning. So she decided to illustrate that… literally. Dabringer was born in Vienna, then lived in Indonesia, Lebanon, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador and the US by the time she was 13. After getting a film degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, she went to our very own Massachusetts College of Art. There, she studied sculpture and education with a focus on woodworking, felting and plaster. In her current work, Dabringer says that the lines she finds in her maps determine the evolving figures in a way that demonstrates how we’re all looking for meaning. We look at a map and try to see a face the way that we try to find a narrative in life. But she asks, “Do they exist simply to illustrate the random and whimsical nature of life? Humans have an insatiable need to find meaning—even from that which is fleeting or random. The more meaning we assign, the more we triangulate our location within ourselves and our communities.”

Who’s got two thumbs and a new website? We do!

This is our other big announcement of the week: we have a brand new website! And it looks pretty sharp if we do say so ourselves. Everything you ever wanted (and needed!) to know is laid out in an easy-to-navigate and stylish format. Find out where we are, who we are, and our history. Keep up to date on our specials and what we offer. And since framing is all about visuals, we made sure there are lots of photos to give you ideas of how amazing we can make your own art look. It’s one more way that we’re gonna make custom framing easy and accessible to you.
We’re not done yet – there’s more coming soon. Hint: we’re going to help you make those summer snapshots look better than they would just sitting on your computer.

Kylie Stillman’s carved books may fly away with you

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of art that makes use of paper in unique ways. We probably average about one artist a week that carves, folds, cuts, or otherwise uses paper in some way that you’ve never seen before. And try as might to ignore that cellulose monkey on our back, here we are again. But Kylie Stillman‘s work isn’t only about the craft. At first glance, these sculptures using books, venetian blinds, and sale signs may look like another case of put-a-bird-on-ititus. But there are some subtle hints about bigger ideas. Like the nature of paper – specifically the impact it has, good or bad, on your environment. That book you’re holding may have at one time held a nest.
Our favorite is definitely the shelf of books at the bottom. Hopefully, working large is Stillman’s next step – we’d love to see what kind of work a bigger scale would yield.

Natalie Irish puts her art where her mouth is

Usually, we’d offer some insight or background. But this piece speaks for itself.

via Natalie Irish

And the new frame store goes to…

Big Picture Framing is getting bigger! After 11 years, we’re opening our 14th store in August. The lucky town is Andover and we’re eager to show them what we offer in custom framing: superior designs, fast service, an unparalleled unconditional guarantee, and the best everyday prices in the industry. The new location will also be the first appearance of our brand new logo! We’ll be making other exciting announcements to coincide with the Andover opening. So watch this space – 2011 is going to be a big year for custom framing in New England!

Arigami is blowing up!

Normally, we like to end the week with a bang, but in this case it’d be catastrophic. You’ve all seen balloon animals and other similar balloon tricks. But you’ve never seen anything like the sculptures created by Larry Moss & Kelly Cheatle at the Arigami studio. They define Arigami as the fine art of folding air and say that it “stands at the crossroads of three ancient art forms: sculpture, puppetry and origami.” We say it meets somewhere between jaw-dropping and uplifting *ahem*. They’ve been challenging themselves with “full-blown” (that one’s theirs, not ours) installations for over a dozen years. Recently, they used Kickstarter to successfully fund a series of children’s books. But what’s really impressive are their enormous sculptures. Here’s some samples, with a behind-the-scenes video at the bottom.

Their Fantastic Flying Octopus is the world’s first piloted balloon sculpture.

Cancer-battling Mom & Daughter forge on

Time for an update on Kezia and Saoirse. We were glad to hear that they’re getting some media notice. In the past few days, both the local CBS and NBC affiliates featured them! Saoirse looks adorable & happy in both the clips – check ’em out here and here.

Things have been somewhat turbulent lately. The run-of-the-mill frustrations that any of us experience with the medical field – making appointments, waiting to be seen, waiting some more, trying to get a straight answer – are all magnified by 10 times 2 for the Fitzgeralds. When reading Kezia’s blog, one wonders why someone already battling cancer should have to contend with further complications. All the more inspiring that she displays the upbeat attitude that’s no doubt helped them make it this far. After Kezia’s second to last chemo treatment last week, Saoirse goes in for another round this week and a bone marrow biopsy. Mom says, “Now for the chemo and the never-ending job of keeping a one-year-old entertained while she’s attached to a pump and giant pole for 5 hours. I didn’t want to sit down anyways; that would be boring. Bring it on!”

If you watch the 2 news videos, you’ll get just a sense of the toll this is taking on their finances. In addition to medical bills, the family needs money for groceries, parking at the hospitals, gas, and other basics. They currently have two fund-raising projects going on. This Saturday is the 1st Annual Hoops to Help Charity Basketball Tournament and Picnic in Arlington, MA. It happens July 16 from 10:30am-1:30pm – check out the link for all the info. They’ve also set up a donation page for the family through FirstGiving and the Ishan Gala Foundation. This page will accept credit card donations of any size, and since it is through a not for profit organization, is completely tax-deductible. The money is collected by the foundation, and the Fitzgeralds are reimbursed for living and medical expenses while Saoirse is going through treatment. The Gala foundation has been truly wonderful, awarding them a $1000 dollar grant to help with expenses. This site will also help with the increasing cost of Saoirse’s treatments.

We encourage you to visit Kezia’s blog or any of the Facebook pages. After reading any of those sites or watching either of the tv videos, your heart can’t help but go out to them. Please consider doing the same with a few dollars. Every little bit helps and you can continue to follow their progress here. Thanks for stopping by.