Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Picture this

I am writing this from behind a wall of boxes, wifi is still working and I am over two months away from moving house. One of the most tricky parts of this move is protecting and transporting my artwork. I have collected pictures for many years and rarely a month goes by without finding Something. This may sound grand as if I am some big collector but my finds are quite modest and very diverse. I also buy frames whenever I find them, sometimes with Something NOT nice in them and quite a few were found abandonned in the street. One night in Paris when walking the dogs I found a large stash of frames outside a small museum ! 

Below is my recent purchase and one of my most expensive ones I admit ! It is an original exibition poster from 1960 by Jean Carzou a famous French artist. Posters are still art and a good way of acquiring an artists work. I paid 140 euros for this one but the large heavy frame was found in the street by a friend who gave it to me recently. I love the colour, so vibrant.

This must be one of my favorite watercolours, a VERY difficult medium to paint in. It is by someone well known and I purchased it at SULIS gallery via the net. They always have very well priced art from known artists. I have purchased a few from them over the years but I admit to have almost stolen this one as since then their prices for comparable watercolours has risen. This reminds me of John Singer Sargeant but without the auction house price tag. I am still out on the mount colour as I find blue a difficult colour to assess.

This is just a bit of fun, two pages from an old child's comic book in a gilded wood frame usually reserved for Something more precious. Art is what you make it. 

Another oddly coloured picture, this is an original lithography from the 50's / 60's, one of my favorite periods as accessible financially ! The colour is more intense in real life, the frame is not great but I wanted to get it Under glass quickly. I think I paid 20 euros for this one and the frame was charity shop.

Another signed lithography from the same period. Again in greenish tones as I love red and pink in decoration and green goes so well against it. I had begun this time with the frame which is wonderful quality in gold leaf wood by a good framer, found behind a wardrobe at our local Junk shop.
I then sought an appropriate picture and found this one for about 30 euros on eBay. 
Lithographes from this period are very accessible.

Now these next two charcoal drawings are a mystery, I must have been on drugs when I bought them but I assume my purchase ! I found them at our local Junk shop, our dealer friend had just bought the contents of an artists house from the 19th century and these two quite large drawings were amongst all the rest. I paid 50 euros each of memory serves me. They are wonderful quality, the frames are not so wonderful but at least they are protected. 

I began collecting charcoal drawings and studio academic studies years ago in the hopes of making a whole wall of them side by side as one large group art installation. I of course never had the wall! In my present house the walls are such that any picture hanging has to be done with a drill and plug!

This next one, again in a questionable blue mount was 'rescued' from a crappy Junk shop near Aix en Provence some years ago. It was very badly framed and sat in a dark corner but it had 'something' so I paid 30 euros much to the astonishment of my friend. It turns out it is by a famous artist and the same engraving sells for many hundreds on auction sites. I found the frame in a charity shop.

I love etchings, they have an ethereal quality about them. I studied etching at college and found it very satisfying although very labor intensive. This one is a veiw of a window out of the window. It is signed and numbered and cost me 25 euros on eBay.

This is another charcoal academic study, it has the studio seal in the corner. I had seen this one en eBay many months ago and put it aside. I bought it for my xmas as part of my future installation of charcoal drawings. The way I usually frame these is by cutting thin mdf board , 3 to 5 mm, whatever is on hand, to the size then the same with glass. I have a great glass cutter that is so easy to use and useful. I then strengthen the edges of the board with 10x10 mm battens glued on plus one more ten cms lower from the top. I then sandwich the drawing and weighing it down I finish the edges with kraft framers tape. The kind you wet , not the kind that is like sticky tape as it doesn't seem to stick as well. I put two layers of tape to finish the edges. I will at one point put a hook system on the lower batten to hang them. It is quick and cheap and keeps the picture simple, not detracting from the image.

Another drawing from the same stash as the two darker ones above. I paid 10 euros.

This one was a birthday gift from me to me, 25 euros, eBay. Same framing system.

This next one is a bit of fun. I bought this paperback and loved the cover to I sacrificed the book to frame the cover in an old 50's frame. It will be part of a fun wall of odd things one day. 

Another one for the 'odd wall', this was the ad in the local paper for my brother's clock repair business. He was really talented but he gave up as people never came back to collect their clocks and pay ! He then took up goldsmithing and made celtic jewellery to order. I miss him.

Next is another odd picture, badly photographed sorry ! These tickets I kept since I was a child. The pink one was my entrance to a gaelic choir where I sang and the blue one was to a France vs Scotland rugby match when I was 16, I hitchhiked to the big town to see it with my cousin. I put them into an ornate Florentine frame which looks fab but is in fact plastic tourist Junk! 

And last but not not least, the proof that anything can be 'art' and it sometimes costs Nothing. I often dry leaves, the thing is I forget in which books I put them so from time to time some fall out. The frame was 50 cents, backed in a piece of red folder, it makes a 'statement' . 

There are of course hundreds more pictures and when I move and set up home I will photograph them in situ which is surely more interesting. I warn you it sometimes takes me years to hang a picture! 

I hope that you are all busy being busy and not thinking of what is going on. There is not much we can do except look after ourselved and care for those we love. 

Huggssssssss to all. 


  1. OMG, you truly have loads of art treasures for your new home, Stephanie, it must be so nice for you to dig them out again and enjoy them again as if you've purchased them right now....
    Stay safe/healthy and take good care for yourself!
    Hugs/Amicalement, Ilona

    1. HIlona , yes too much ! I have just goen through the attic and it's worse than I thought ! Luckilly the new house is big with lots of walls ,,,, huggsss

  2. Hello Stephanie! Your art collection is as diverse and eclectic as one could wish! I Greatly admire the variety of frames and subject matter which denotes how complex human beings actually are; from comics to character studies; from landscapes and ancient architecture to the beauty of a single leaf or surreal book cover, people have many different layers and interests so what is considered ART to us, should express it.
    May all be well with you Stephanie :)


    1. On inspection I have so many empty frames begging for pictures, but first to paint the background walls and waiting to see the light in each room to choose the colours. For the moment it's pink in the living room, yellow in the kitchen, stone in the libray and green and burnt pink in my bedroom to match some wonderful fabric stashed for years. Lots to do and having t ostay in suits me just fine !! huggss from here to there xo

  3. Dear Mrs. M.

    Your collection is truly eclectic and deserves to be Hung on a wall. So these frame engravings, litographies, drawings and printed oddities can add their charm to the rooms they hang in.

    Lets hope it will be the house from your previous post. Fingers crossed!

    Monsieur H.

    1. Yes and the best thing about the new house is the walls ! Cannot wait to get them painted in contrast and art hung, it sometimes takes months to work it out. I had a friend who was a Professional picture hanger and he did amazing things for the houses he worked in. Will keep you posted ,, huggsss

  4. Such an interesting variety of art work to sit and appreciate! Too bad you have to get them packed away! When you are finally able to unpack and decorate the new place it'll feel like Christmas! Stay safe and well, Stephanie!

    1. Hi Jodi, yes I cannot say that I am concentrated on one period although the 60's seems to be a theme for 'economic reasons' ,, I always try to buy stuff that is not yet fashionable but the market often catches up with my taste. Lots to come !! I just found in the attic the most amazing poster bought when I lived in Nimes, it was famous for the roman arena and bullfighting ( terrible ) but I will frame it and I have a bulls head in basket from the 50's that will loo kgreat above it !! huggsss