Google+ House Revivals: Thrift Store Frame Makeovers and an Art Show

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thrift Store Frame Makeovers and an Art Show

My camera is broken!  So, for the next few days, I'll be finishing up some posts I started writing and never finished -- which would be easy, if I hadn't just accidentally deleted a whole bunch of pictures of tutorials and "before and afters" from my hard drive.   Do you ever have days like that? 

Back in December I was invited to join a local art show!  It was tons of fun, and I got to meet lots of people from my community.  At the end of the show, I was even approached about putting stuff in a local gallery! 

I don't actually have access to any original work right now (it's all in storage till the remodel is finished), so the pieces  used were copies-of-prints-of-scans-of-originals from my portfolio. 

Of course, all these copies of prints of scans would need to be displayed nicely -- people wouldn't appreciate a table strewn with copy paper  -- and why buy new, when there is a thrift store nearby, right?  So, I hit the Goodwill and found this lovely green frame with a print of some lavender.

Since my pieces were small, this little 5 x 7 frame and these little easels were perfect.

Here is an example of where thrift stores are not always cheaper -- these easels were a dollar each, which is what the local IKEA sells them for!

This little canvas frame has a tiny picture area -- only about 3" x 3", which was perfect for a tiny piece I wanted to display.  And remember how I said I've lost a whole bunch of pictures from my hard drive?  The "before" from the third picture frame was among the lost.

To transform the frames, first the brads on the back were pried up, and the canvas boards were removed and set aside.  Then each of the frames got a coat or two of black paint, and some touches of gold.

Next, I sorted through my portfolio and found some pieces I liked, to take to the copy center.

Those new copies-of-prints-of-scans of marker drawings were then applied to the canvas boards that had been removed from the frames earlier.

I used matte Mod Podge.  Which I love.  They each got a couple of coats, using the brush strokes to add texture in a believable way.  Truly, good old Mod Podge took the pieces from being sad little photocopies to looking like real art! 

The little pictures got lots of attention at the show.

Nobody seemed to notice or care that they were lowly photocopies. I got a lot of questions about the "texturizing medium", and the other artists were surprised it was Mod Podge.  Really?

The backs of the pictures got lots of attention, too.  Just for fun, I used pages from a drawing instruction book, along with a copy of a pen sketch to give the backs a nice finished look.

The backs of the pictures were a big hit!

The book pages were from a thrifted copy of Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain -- it seemed appropriate.

All in all, the show was really fun -- there was some amazing art there, by REAL artists, who sell their paintings for thousands of dollars a piece.  It was humbling...

... but,  it was such an honor to show my little copies-of-prints-of-scans-of-marker-drawings along side so much talent.

I was really happy with the "made over" frames, though, and the way the Mod Podge rocked the photocopies!

To learn a little more about how the original pieces were created, you can read this article about marker rendering, or this page about concept communication.

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  1. Beautiful post, and a gorgeous blog! I run Thrift Store Confidential, and have added you to our links. Please stop by and say hullo!
    Many thanks and all best,

  2. I always have a stash of thrift store frames for my needlework - it's fun to complete a piece and then rummage for the right sized frame. I love the idea for the backs of the frames.
    I often look at design books and really enjoy the designer sketches - so elegant.

  3. oh wow, I'm in awe! I think it's unfair that one person have so much talent!

  4. The frames came out great. Sorry about the camera but thanks for sharing :o)

  5. So clever and well done! Love the mod podge idea, and the back sides are clever too. Kudos!

  6. You are a REAL artist!!!! Your work looks great in those frames!

  7. They look great! I really like how you finished the backs - a very custom touch!


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