Flowers for the Queen: Framing Louis Turpin

This is a 22″ x 20″ oil painting, “Reds and Yellows,” by contemporary British artist Louis Turpin. The painter’s website says he’s exhibited at The Royal Academy, The National Portrait Gallery and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. So in this week that Britons are laying flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, known for her love of gardens, this seems an appropriate painting to present on the blog.Louis Turpin painting

Framed Louis Turpin paintingIn the system of the world, and certainly in every satisfying composition, all things have their complements. Bright colors, like reds and yellows, are completed by dull colors, like greys and browns. In Turpin’s painting bright colors dominate, with dull tones used as a subordinate foil. The idea here is that the frame, in its complementary, subordinate and enhancing role, reverses that: a brown walnut surface dominates, while a yellow liner and muted green and blue painted lesser elements repeat the colorful palette. The shape of the 3-1/4″ wide frame suggests the leaf and petal forms. The carving echoes the loose brush markings.

The painting feels completed; the frame has done its work.


Trevor built the frame and I finished it with linseed oil and solvent-free linseed oil paint, which I’ve recently begun working with and am really enjoying.

Framed Louis Turpin painting, corner

Framed Louis Turpin painting, corner

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