Monthly Archives: March 2012

Guess what Eric Standley makes

Check out a close-up of this three-dimensional, drawing-in-relief thingie. We’ll give you three guesses as to what the artist used to make it, then scroll down to see if you’re right. If you said it was made of architect’s styrene model sheets, you’re wrong. If you said it was thin pieces of balsa wood made with a butcher’s slicing machine, you’re wrong. And if you said it was made of reinforced polycarbonite alloy, you’re definitely wrong ’cause we just made that up. Nope, it’s paper – many, many layers of laser cut paper. What? You thought we were never gonna feature another artist who does paper cuts? Please. You can’t turn around without tripping over someone else who’s devised a new way to express themselves with paper.
But Eric Standley really stood out to us. Instead of the typical “Wow, I can’t believe someone could do that with paper” response, it was more like “Wow, I can’t tell how he did that… but I’m certain it wasn’t with paper!” Standley got his MFA right here at the Massachusetts College of Art. He’s currently an Assistant Professor
of Studio Art and the Foundations of Art and Design Coordinator for the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. The sculptures are based on his drawings, some of which can take as long as two months. The laser cutting process can take 30 hours and use as many as 120 sheets of paper. They have “rooms” below the surface that can only be seen by getting up close and looking in at just the right angle. The depth from surface to center tends to be about 1 3/4″ and he says that some of the design decisions are just as much about structural support to keep the paper from drooping. The outer dimensions tend to be about 18″ X 24″. Looking at ’em makes us glad that all we have to do is custom framing.


Garret Miller imagines awesome kids’ art

So there’s this site on the computer that, uh, you can go to and there are all these neat pictures that all these kids have done, um, and then, this man whose name is Garrett Miller, he takes ’em and he does the pictures again but fancier cause he’s a grown-up artist and some of the pictures are of fairy princesses and some of them are Star Wars and some of them are castles on fire and they’re all really cool!

Pau Agiló, age 8

Brandon, age 6

Quentin, age 5

Liberty, age ?

Naomi, age 7

One kind of art that we frame more than anything else is kid’s art. We love it! Art by children is always vibrant and not at all self-conscious. Miller’s website is a great idea and the way he interprets each drawing is interesting to see, but we wouldn’t hesitate to display any of the original drawings either.

This’ll put you in a great Frame of Mind

We couldn’t resist posting this video about a magical picture frame that we found over on Colossal. Sadly, our frames won’t do the things that Ben Boutwell and Steven Alan can get theirs to do. But we can suggest the best frames for you to pretend with.

The most viewed artist in the world isn’t who you’d think

Terry Chase may be the most viewed artist in the country or even the world. He’s been in the business of making natural history exhibits for 40 years and his work is in over 250 museums and nature centers. His most recent work was done at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Along with 20 other marine animals, Chase Studio created a 50 foot replica of “Phoenix”, a North Atlantic right whale – she’s so big you could walk inside her without hitting your head. It took them 2 weeks to install it in the Ocean Hall. Check out the report that CBS did here.

Draw Something makes your smart phone frameable

WARNING: If your smart phone can get apps and you’ve got a friend with the same, it’s only a matter of time before you’re addicted to Draw Something. At least that’s what early statistics would indicate. The pictionary-style game was released on February 1st and there’ve been 20 million downloads – altho’, keep in mind that it takes two to play. This is certainly part of its viral nature – the more games you’ve got going, the more often you can play while you’re waiting on a response from each player. Think about this: on Monday there were 2,400 Draw Something pictures being made per second. OMGPOP, the app’s producer has spent zero money on marketing since the launch. Sounds like a pretty solid business plan to us! So far, users have produced over 1 billion drawings. We’ve probably contributed half of that since the infection got hold of us wannabe artists here at Big Picture. Some of us are a little doubtful about the inclusion of proper nouns in the word choices (Seriously, “Jordan”?! – there’s only so many ways one can depict the New Kids on the Block or the Middle Eastern country with these primitive tools!) Woe be to those with fat fingers – time to up your game with a bigger range of colors. But look out – that’s gonna cost you some of the coins you scored. Or you could always spend real money on the bigger palette choices. We’ll leave that to the *ahem* real addicts.

We can’t take credit for any of these masterpieces, but they’re some good examples of how the game works, as well as the time & effort that people are investing.

You oughtta be in pictures

Spring is in the air – it’s staying lighter later, temperatures are warming, birds are singing – that can mean only one thing. The Hollywood blockbuster season is upon us! Y’know it’s summer when you find yourself plunking down $12.50 to see the latest superhero/wizard/animated/alien 3D eye fest.
But we’re watching movies at home more and more. Thanks to multiple venues like Netflix and On Demand, we don’t have to go out or spend big bucks at the box office to get our film fix. So while you’re enjoying movies on your home screen, don’t forget that movie posters on your wall make a great design choice. They look great in a casual living space or a full-blown home theater. But if a poster of “Toy Story” or “Star Wars” doesn’t sound like the right pic for you, it might be perfect in your child’s bedroom. Now, where could you easily get said movie posters at super-affordable prices online? Hmmm…
Alright, you wore us down. Go to our website here to take advantage of our 60% off posters and custom framing offer. You can choose from an enormous inventory of images.
If we order it for you and custom frame it, you save 60% off the price of the poster and 60% off the framing! Not only will you have some slick new wall art, but you’ll have money left over to actually go out to the movies. Here’s just a small sampling of what’s available –

It reflects well on us, but not on your art

There’s no feeling like knowing that you’ve made every customer happy all of the time. And this week, we had a particularly fantastic customer service experience that proved out two of the ways that Big Picture Framing does that – our lifetime guarantee on every custom frame job and the fact that we always show beautiful design options.
A couple of weeks ago, a customer who was new to us, brought in his prized Purdue basketball jersey. The framer helping him suggested a design involving two frames stacked together to create a shadow box and a suede mat. When it came time to talk about the glass, his options were conservation clear glass or Museum glass. They both protect against 99% of light that will harm the shirt, but the Museum glass has the virtue of
reflecting less than 1% of that light – practically glare free! The customer loved the great design, but like many of us he wanted to save some money if he could. Even tho’ we guarantee the lowest price on all of our custom materials, he chose to go with the conservation glass, which looks the same as your typical window glass. We explained that because of our design guarantee, if he ever wanted to upgrade to the non-glare option, he’d only have to pay the difference in the price of materials. It’d be just as if he’d gotten the Museum glass to begin with.
Three days after picking up his framed jersey, he called us asking if we meant what we said about changing out the glass. Of course! We had to laugh to ourselves because people often think our guarantee sounds too good to be true. Or that we won’t always honor it. But we like nothing better than making people happy with the work we do, no questions asked. Not only did we upgrade his glass, we did it in 24 hours so that he could have it back in time to bring good luck for a big game.
The proof is in the pudding, so in case you haven’t seen Museum glass in action, this job was a perfect example. A classic before & after scenario: the conservation clear is on the left and the newly installed Museum glass is on the right.

The best part of your body to paint with…

… is not your tongue. Seriously, folks, we can’t stress that enough! C’mon, the toxicity of oil paints that contain cadmium or zinc or even titanium would be awful for your innards. We shouldn’t have to explain these kind of- wait, what? There’s a drawing teacher in India who paints with his tongue?! What the heck?! Alright, geez – let’s have a look.

via Oddity Central

Impressionist Insider: Renoir caught on film

Have a look at this amazing 16mm film from 1917 of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the French impressionist painter.

The film was found in a closet at the Comparative Literature Department’s office in Harvard University’s Boylston Hall, where it had been sitting for 44 years. No one had known that it was there or even what it was until 2001 when it was identified during an expansive inventory effort. There’s some doubt as to who shot it, tho’ many guess it was Renoir’s son, French film director Jean Renoir. The other two people in it are Ambroise Vollard, a well-known art dealer and writer, and “La Boulangère,” Renoir’s servant and sometimes model.
Renoir passed away two years after this was filmed. You can see in the video that his hands have been deformed after decades of rheumatoid arthritis (more on that below). Harvard Film Archive Curator Bruce Jenkins says, “It’s undoubtedly the only moving image that exists of Renoir painting … or any of the great Impressionists, for that matter. There are some motion pictures of famous generals and members of royalty from this period, but movies of painters are extremely rare.”
We can’t know what he’s painting, but here’s an example of his work from that same time.
Now consider this painting done in 1881, before the arthritis would’ve become quite so crippling.

What kind of animal would a pencil be?

Jennifer Maestre sculpts pencil creatures. They were originally inspired by the form and function of sea urchins while she was attending the Mass College of Art.

The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in, in spite of the possible consequences. There is a true fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.
To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.

Yikes, sounds tedious. But the result is unforgettable. Some of these look as tho’ they could stretch their legs and jump away. As well as the sculptural aspect, we appreciate the different shades and shapes of color that the pencils allow. There’s the color of the wood itself, the color of the tip/center, the outside of the pencil, and in some cases even the color of the eraser and it’s brass neck. Amazing!