Here’s the third and last of the egg tempera paintings we just framed for the artist, Karima Cammell. At 24″ x 18″ this is the largest one. It’s also on a very thick panel, so the 3″ wide frame is 2-1/4″ thick. It’s in stained quartersawn white oak in a very fine grain and with mild ray flake. Trevor Davis made it.
For the design, I took off from the plaid patterns, the cut of the dress, and the unusual diamond shaped window in the back to modify a favorite chamfered mortise-and-tenon frame of ours, the No. 1100 CV Points. We could have gone in a different direction and used a more formal mitered frame profile. But I always consider how the painter has already framed the subject, and usually proceed from that. In this case, the young woman is framed by the window in the background—a rectilinear element complementing the softly rendered model. This scheme of complements—figurative vs. architectural, rounded and curved vs. rectilinear, soft vs rugged (note also the stormy scene through the window in complement with the model, safe and content inside) is key to the painting’s success and seemed to dictate a frame that’s on the architectural/rectilinear/rugged side as a foil to the painting’s lovely subject.
Interesting point of comparison between this larger piece and the first two, which are smaller, in that great moment of reward for a framer when the picture’s been fit and is turned face up, the job complete. In the case of the small ones, the reward was immediate, but for this large one the sense of completion didn’t come till it was hung on the wall—a result of the frame being so much more architectural, not only in design (as I’ve explained, they’re all very architectural), but more importantly in scale. Perhaps because this one really is like a window, and perhaps because this characteristic is echoed by the window in the painting itself.
I should also add that all three paintings evoke the Renaissance, a time when the bond between paintings and frames was still intact and strong. So the style of the paintings seems to allow for, if not demand, frames that feel entirely of a piece with the paintings.
Thank you to Karima for having me frame these three lovely works!
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