Tuesday, July 30, 2013

o'la'la' matting in french fashion

I am sitting here in my studio.  A few moments ago I was exercising on my stationary bike (it is a small inexpensive one I got from Sears-does not take much room) when a few books on a nearby shelf caught my attention.  I forget all about the books I have acquired over the years.  Two of them I would like to share with you.  I am also listening to Rachmaninoff on my computer so simmering way down...

The first book concentrates on the art nouveau designs of three artists including the wonderful Alphone
Mucha.  A friend found it in Paris and recommended it.  It is inspiring as well as a source of designs for whatever project comes about.  I sometimes use it for french matting techniques.

 If you are not aware of french matting...check it out. It will enhance your framed work. French matting is the art of applying watercolor washes and lines painted in unlimited shade variations and widths to embellish a paper borne subject. Started in the 18th century and reintroduced in the 60's.  I also was inspired by early monastic illuminations of scripture.  It is worth studying those also.  For me, it was another challenge.  Sometimes I pulled the design of the painting out onto the mat.

                                                  Here is something to start you off:

The second book is related to the first but is a fascinating look at patterns in nature and how
they can inspire drawings and composition.  I would also recommend Japanese patterns as well.

Two examples of french matting in my work.  I once took a year long course in matting and framing and learned french matting there.  It does require a bit of nerve and a steady hand, but it is worth it. If you are cutting your own mats, it is less nerve wracking. 

 The first is a nursery painting I did some years ago.  The second a large abstract.  I had kept the painted mat clean and just fitted the abstract painting into it....works well!!

        I keep hoping that some of my readers will share their thoughts on a post....are you willing?

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