Picking the Perfect Frame

Picking the Perfect Frame

Sometimes we all need a little help making choices. Here are some surefire ways to pick the perfect frame for your piece of art and a guideline for choosing frames.

 

  1. Does the frame clash with the colors in the painting?

When considering what frame to choose taking into consideration what colors exist in the piece is a good start. Most frames are pretty neutral for the most part because the goal is to make the artwork pop or stand out. Some options are better than others. In the print below, New Beginnings, the white frame on the left allows the painting to pop and doesn’t detract from the piece itself. The orange-toned frame on the right, while in the same color family, is darker and more yellow than the coral/rust tones in the piece. Here, the frame almost stands out more than the painting when the frame should be highlighting the painting.

Christine_Olmstead_Chosing_a_Frame

  1. Does the frame clash with the colors/woods I have in my room?

I can’t tell you this. You’ll just have to take a survey of any framed works you have, the color of your wood floors, any wood coffee tables, or bookshelves you may have in your space can help to determine if the frame with clash with your space. Here again, we have the same frames. On the left, the white frame goes with this space because there is a lot of white present. There are several other frames on the wall that are white. A white frame is a good choice for this space, or maybe even black or a wood with a cool (blue undertones) tone. On the right, we have the pecan frame which clashes with this space because that wood color does not exist anywhere in the room. Not on the base of the sofa and not on any of the other frames.

Christine_Olmstead_Framing2

  1. What is the ultimate look I’m going for?

Are you going for a gallery wall or a stand-alone statement piece? You can choose a frame that will either blend in with its surroundings or pop out on the wall. Both of the options below are good choices based on their surroundings and the complimentary woods in the space. My encouragement when framing is to play with it and to not be afraid of bold moves when choosing a frame.

Christine_Olmstead_Framing_3

All pieces depicted can be found HERE! in various size and framing options! Did you learn anything new about framing? Do you already have art but aren’t sure how to frame it? Leave a comment below and we’ll get you sorted!

“Me too” and a Culture of Fear

“Me too” and a Culture of Fear

[Triggor Warning]

If you haven’t heard of the “Me Too” campaign it is a movement started by Alyssa Milano in the wake of all of this Harvey Weinstein scandal. The goal is to draw attention to the sexual assult and or harassment women endure. This whole Me Too campaign has brought up a lot of really interesting conversations with friends, a lot of heartbreaking stories from my sisters, but I hope it brings a lot of understanding.

 

I have never met a woman that hasn’t been sexually assaulted or harassed, if you are a woman who has never experienced these things please tell us what it is like to have gone your whole life without this presence. You are a beautiful unicorn.

 

I have only ever been sexually assaulted when I worked in the service industry from age 16-19. I worked at a private golf club where members felt entitled to anything and everything including but not limited to squeezing my backside among other things.  The cook at the club would grab me (and all the girls, it wasn’t just me, he assaulted all of us) and would squeeze us in a tight full frontal hug for 20+ seconds without consent. When I would push him away, or try and squirm out of his grasp, he’d squeeze tighter and when I dogged him he wouldn’t cook my orders or delay them for an hour sometimes causing the customers at my tables to be angry with me. Those are the only physical sexual assaults I’ve experienced, and I know that is minor compared to rape or other chronic abuses women endure. This issue is prevalent for all of us.

 

I have not been sexually assaulted like this since I was a teenager, as a woman who can now more readily spot men like this, and firmly say “no,” I now only experience harassment, catcallers, or online jerks who troll any and all photos of a women like the turds they are, from the privacy of their computer.

 

I will share my most memorable catcalling experience. I was in DC and I had a meeting, the only parking spot I could find was several blocks away from my meeting spot. On my walk back to my car a middle-aged man in a wheelchair cat called me he was saying the usual things, “hey beautiful, how are you today.” He started rolling behind me as I ignored him, saying things to me like, “hey baby this…” or “sweetie, how about that.” After following me for 2 blocks in his wheelchair he got tired of me ignoring him and picked up his pace, he wheeled faster and faster forcing me to start jogging and skipping to stay ahead of him, he started cussing me out calling me a “f*cking c*unt” he called me an “arrogant f*ing b*tch” he said, “I’m paying you a f*ing compliment c*unt.” I never turned around, I was sprinting to my car as he was wheeling himself as fast as he could behind me. I got in the car locked the door and he watched as I raced away. He had followed me for 5 blocks.

 

I laugh about that story now because he was in a wheelchair and in hindsight watching a man in a wheelchair chase and cuss out a girl is kind of a funny picture. It’s so pathetic and debase that it is laughable. But at the time I was angry, hurt, and scared. This story would have been less funny and even more frightening if he had been able-bodied. These kinds of things happen every day to millions of women around the world.

 

I recently was dealing with some clients, they were all men. Two of them made some sexist suggestions, and for the first time in my life, I decided to educate these men who were 10+ years older than me. I have never before voiced my offence, my pain, or my disgust when men make remarks like this. But this time I did. I told them that what they suggested was offensive to me as a woman, and then I suggested an alternative to their suggestion.

 

They were utterly shocked that what they said could be sexist. I do not fault them, I genuinely think they were probably ignorant and now they hopefully won’t make remarks like that in the future to other women. But this was my first step to re-education. I think educating with grace and telling men when they say something that is offensive is key in this “me too” discussion. We as women need to stand up when something is wrong and those of us who maybe are older, more confident, and less fearful have a responsibility to help those who are still wounded, in pain, and fearful for their safety. We should approach every assault and every insult with grace. Some men genuinely are scum bags who want to treat women horribly, but I believe that most men are open to change and open and even want to treat women with respect. We should help them understand how they cause harm.

 

I’m so sad that this issue is so prevalent, but I am encouraged by that fact that these things are topics of conversation. I’m encouraged that we, as human beings, are addressing the subject of how we can respect each other more. To the women who have endured severe sexual assaults and are in pain still, I’m so sorry and know that you have friends who will support you. If you are in a chronic abusive situation I urge you to reach out to friends, to law enforcement and put an end to the chronic sexual assault in your life. And as always if there is anything I can do for you, just reach out.

 

 

Put on Your Lipstick

Put on Your Lipstick

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I was running all day, hardly engaged with my thoughts, only thinking about the next item on the to-do list.

 

I had meetings in the morning, I was painting all day, I had taxes to do in the afternoon and I had a Tuesday’s Together meeting at night (which is always a pleasure to see local friends). And while nothing, “went wrong” per say it felt like I was stretched tight all day, like I was a deer in the headlights racing from the moment I woke up.

 

Lately, I’ve been working to get out of this lifestyle and mindset. I’m the kind of person who really can’t relax when there are huge things hanging over my head. Nothing stresses me out more than procrastination. I get so stressed and guilty feeling when there are dishes in the sink, clutter lying around, something on my to-do list that hasn’t been crossed off. More often than not I think this leads me to a, “hurry up and get it done so you can relax” attitude.

 

It is really hard for me to slow down and process and enjoy the little tasks that make up the day. Moving slower engages me in the process of whatever I am doing which in turn makes it more enjoyable. Doing the dishes or vacuuming don’t have to be terrible things if I take the time to enjoy the process and notice every dust bunny that satisfyingly gets sucked up the vacuum hose. If I take a second to play in the dish bubbles. If I don’t take the toll road and drive the speed limit and let people cut in front of me and be generous on the road, that 50-minute drive into D.C. that I dread every time, gets a little less terrible.

 

Yesterday, as I was racing around feeling stressed all day. It wasn’t till I was in the car, swiping on a little lip-gloss that I stopped for the first time. I wonder if this is why women used to go to the bathroom to “powder their nose,” to compose themselves, to try and calm down a little, to stop the racing pace.

 

I think its something we should take back, the little moments, slowing the pace, enjoying every menial little task, putting lipstick on in the car.

Abstraction is all Around

Abstraction is all Around

 

*Note * None of the works of art depicted from other artists were created with the intent to portray their counterpart in nature I point out. All works of art and photographs are for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect the ideas of the artists or scientific photographers mentioned.

 

“Abstract art isn’t real art because it doesn’t look real. Nothing in the real world is abstract, and abstract art is easier than realism.” I’ve heard many refrains similar to this throughout the years. I paint mostly abstract works and words like this do not offend me, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. My only challenge or question would be, well have you ever thought of abstraction as realism or impressionism? What do I mean?

I believe and propagate the idea that what we perceive as abstract can sometimes instead be “real life things” in an impressionistic state. What do I mean?

 

First, let’s parse out impressionism just so we are all on the same page. Here is Merriam Webster’s dictionary definition of Impressionism: “a theory or practice in painting especially among French painters of about 1870 of depicting the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light and color”

 

Here is an example of Impressionism by Claude Monet. The first piece is Monet’s impressionistic painting of the waterlilies in his backyard. Below that is a photograph of his waterlilies I took this past summer. His work is not hyper-realistic, it doesn’t look exactly like real life, it is looser, more vivid, and focused on color and light.

ChristineOlmstead_monetLillies

Christine_Olmstead_Monet_Water_Lillies

Now here are some pieces that are considered abstract, by some of my friends who are artists. This first piece is by my friend Ann Marie Coolick and when she paints in this style it always reminds me of vegetable cell structure in an Impressionistic form.

Photo by Ann Marie Coolick

 

Onion cell under a microscope photo by Saurabh Garg

 

Here is another picture I took at the beach last week and the way the sand was encrusted on the shore, it reminded me of some of my own abstract paintings.

Christine_Olmstead_Abstract_Impressionism2

Christine_Olmstead_Abstract_Impressionism

There are so many thousands of examples of abstract art that have reminded me of something in the real world, I’m sure you sensed the same thing. What if what we call “abstract art” was actually impressionist art of normal every day, beautiful things that most people can’t see or don’t notice? I very often think it is.

 

When people don’t appreciate abstraction, that is fine, and I understand, but it also makes me think that they have a hard time appreciating the little things. They probably don’t enjoy color for color’s sake. They probably don’t celebrate light and its reflection. They probably don’t look at the cell structure of an onion and see something beautiful that needs to be celebrated. Maybe I over celebrate and get too excited about all the small beauty around me, but I think that is one of the most important parts of life. Celebrating beauty around us. Praising God for the color, beauty, and light He infused into the world. A celebration a day keeps the bad vibes away.