Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes


Some Things are Black-and-White

Sometimes while browsing Shop SCAD or Etsy or the website of an emerging illustrator, I stumble upon an artist's print that would be perfect for a certain corner in my house, but I'm well aware that if I buy it I won't be the only one with the print hanging in my home. (Unless the print is a monotype.) When I really can't resist a piece, I customize it with a frame that speaks to my taste. Black-and-white art seems to offer a lot of freedom in terms of frame style -- silver or gold leaf, black, white or stained wood are usually all great options.

The Hugo Guinness drawings and linocuts shown at John Derian demonstrate how striking vintage gilt frames can look paired with black-and-white works. And some of Guinness's pieces are sold in black or stained wood moldings -- those look terrific too. (It's always fun to hunt for vintage frames at thrift shops and flea markets; sometimes the frames are more special than the print inside.)

Weeks ago, when my blogging friend The Peak of Chic introduced those lovely Gadabout notecards designed by South Carolinian Hanna Brooks Nation, I thought it would be wonderful to see some of her drawings framed.

Currently Hanna is offering affordable prints of her chic, whimsical drawings. Standard prints cost $25 and customized prints cost between $40 and $60. Click here for details.

There's no end to the framing and matting possibilities. Below are a few experiments with the simulator available at (The two examples that follow are customized with an initial, a possibility for a child's room.)

Hanna says that she is also working on a calendar that will feature 12 different drawings of interiors for 2010. Although travel and exploring new cultures most inspire her work, interior design has also been a huge influence along with what she describes as "turn of phrase."

She explains, "Turns of phrase have always been my favorite part of language. Because of this, some of my cards have been inspired by trying to epitomize expressions, saying and quips. Figuring out a way to capture what comes to mind is difficult, but the effort usually results in something of reward."

Zebra - "A horse of a different color"
Flowers - "He Loves me, he loves me not"
Purple and orange dress - "Tete a Tete"

Another South Carolinian, Stacey Bradley of Perlaanne, also has a fondness for animals.

Since I have a penchant for exotic animal prints in bamboo frames, I experimented with Perlaanne's hand-carved and hand-pulled peacock, too.

But I think I prefer Stacey's choice of a dark frame.

Shown at the top of this post, a pen-and-ink of Savannah by Heather Leigh Young framed with triple matting. Visit The Ink Lab to learn more about her drawings of houses.

Recently, I bought one of Heather's prints and she generously slipped in a bonus box of note cards.

Afterthought 7.21.09:

These fashion illustrations hanging in Krista Ewart's house are not black-and-white, but I love how she varied the frames. I thought her approach might inspire someone considering Gadabout drawings for a teen's room.

Images cropped from photo by Melanie Acevedo for Domino, June/July 2007.

BTW: This morning Mrs. Blandings featured a fun chair print by Guinness.

Click here for more on monotypes and visit MOMA to learn more about printmaking in general.


Stacy said...

I just ordered my 2nd set of stationary from Hanna and prints may soon follow. Thanks for the framing resources. I keep hoping someone will do a Tiffany Blue bamboo frame for now gold or black will have to do.

flyoungstudio said...

It's always great to see your work personalized. LOVE the frame.

Style Court said...

Stacy -- funny, I think I saw some bamboo moldings in color at an art supply store. You could always inquire about painting, or try DIY :)

Style Court said...

Or use a pale aqua mat with gilt frame.

Style Court said...

Hi Heather -- we picked up the design detail of the iron fence. I'm so pleased with it!

The Peak of Chic said...

Love your framed prints and the others as well! I think Larsen-Juhl has an aqua bamboo frame- maybe it's part of the Jonathan Adler line??

Style Court said...

Quick on the draw as usual Jennifer. I'm headed to the website...

home before dark said...

My mother-in-law had no fear when it came to framing things. She was the one who taught me the antique/thrift store hunt for used frames. (Truth be told, she was so long at this her basement was the best place to shop!) My husband's last trip to Europe before he started law school was marked with bringing home scads of prints, particularly from Amsterdam. I framed one for him in a frame from an antique store. Inside the frame (hidden from view when I bought it) was an original watercolor of windmills. Funny, no? Great ideas as always, thanks!

Ivie said...

I adore this post! I'm an SC native and loved seeing Hanna & Stacey's work featured. This is perfect timing b/c we were looking for artwork for a client who actually has peacocks on her farm. This Perlaanne's peacock is just perfect! Hopefully our client will think so too. Thanks for sharing this.

Style Court said...

Oh that's great Ivie. I think I'm going to add a few more mat options for the peacock. Also, in the past Stacey has printed it in different colors, if your client is interested.

Stacy said...

Thanks for all the framing ideas! I will head over to LJ and JA and if all else fails home depot!

Style Court said...

Stacy -- JA def makes pretty colors for LJ. Thanks Jennifer for reminder.

Sanity Fair said...

The zebra in green matting is so Kate Spade.

beans and mango said...

great post! Really useful. Thank you!

Style Court said...

Beans and Mango -- my pleasure!

maureenlynne said...

thank-you for posting different matting and framing's interesting how this really affects the piece of art being framed..