Framing Robert Flanary for “Beloved California”

We had a tremendous turnout for the November 16 opening reception for our current all-gallery show, “Beloved California IV: Twenty Artists with a Passion for Place.” Gallery opening(Photo at right; more pictures of the opening can be found at the bottom of the show’s page here.) One of the artists we proudly feature is the one that Holton Studio Gallery has been exhibiting the longest, Robert Flanary. “A Grove In the Lowlands,” shown here, is one of two larger featured works by this artist, both 20″ x 24″. Trevor Davis made this 3-1/2″ carved scoop for it. It’s in quartersawn white oak with Saturated Medieval Oak stain with gilt liner.Robert Flanary paintingOne artist at the opening described Robert’s work as “masterful.” Especially impressive is his skill in pushing his images toward the abstract while maintaining highly realistic handling of aspects like perspective and light. We can easily enter the paintings as believable places, but the paintings’ loose rendering also gives them a transcendent quality that is intoxicating and invites one to just stare at the work for quite a while.

About the Frame

Robert’s paintings always have luscious surfaces. His current work has free and loose brushwork that I wanted to celebrate and amplify with carving of the main cove element as well as a narrower sight edge cove. These I complemented with smooth inner and outer panels.

Robert Flanary painting

Robert Flanary, “The Edge of the Mire.” 2018. Oil, 12″ x 9″. (Sold.)

A useful proportioning principle helpful in frame design is what Pedro Lemos called “graded measure.” Whether it’s a vase or frame molding, a design is more dynamic if the dimensions of different sections contrast rather than match. With three sections, it’s especially pleasing to create ratios using 1, 2 and 3 in different arrangements. In this case they’re 2:3:1. (The frame at right—on a Flanary that I’m happy to report we sold at the opening—uses this same pattern in a different shape. As mentioned, for “A Grove In the Lowlands” I actually added another narrow carved cove at the sight edge.) So the 1″ wide outer raised panel is 2/3 of the width of the 1-1/2″ wide middle scoop section, and the 1/2″ wide inner raised panel is 1/3 of the width of the scoop, and half the width of the outer panel. The frames on the Flanarys below (both are available) use the proportions in different arrangements—3:2:1, and 3:1:2. When the outer element is wider than the inner one, it creates the illusion of perspective and enhances the perspective of the painting as well as helps to draw the viewer in to the painting.

Robert Flanary, “A Row of Farm Buildings,” 2017. Oil, 5″ x 7″.

Robert Flanary painting

Robert Flanary, “Before a Summer Storm.” 2017. Oil, 8″ x 10″.

We hope you’ll come see “Beloved California” to see Robert Flanary‘s beautiful paintings in person and fully appreciate them.

Paul Kratter, Terry Miura & Bill Cone

Bill Cone, Terry Miura and Paul Kratter catch up at the opening in front of Robert Flanary’s display

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