“Framecro” – Fast Framing on the Cheap!

Framing artwork used to be a dreaded task, but over the years I’ve come to really enjoy it. This is especially true as we start 2020 because I recently had 4 dog related pieces accepted to an Austin art show at Art for the People gallery called Celebrities – Pet & People Portraits. Future posts this week will provide more details about the show and the inspiration behind the pieces, but I wanted to share some creative custom framing ideas I used with 2 of the pieces in the show.
One of the troubling issues with framing is the commitment, secondarily the cost and complexity. The process of “properly” framing a painting often involves sealing it inside a frame in a way that makes getting it out an ordeal. When I hang finished art in my home, I can easily get bored of the frame after a year, or simply want to change the art that’s in the frame. To solve this problem, I came up with a Velcro based solution that works great with small pieces in floater frames, whereby you affix the piece with Velcro instead of glue or some other fixative, which allows you to swap out pieces in the same frame. This is handy for your personal art at home, gallery shows or events.
The steps to frame using Velcro, a process I’ve trademarked as “framecro“, are very simple, fast, and inexpensive. Let me know if you opt to framecro any of your paintings; improvements to the process are always welcome.
  1. Most Velcro types will work, but the Command line of snap-type from 3M is what I prefer. They market it as a picture hanging velcro because it snaps together very tightly, but you can still pull it apart easily.
  2. Cut 4 twin sets of velcro rectangles, which means you have 8 total rectangles of Velcro. These should be relatively small and easily fit into the 4 corners of the frame.
  3. Affix the velcro to the corners of the frame and the corners of the back of the artwork.
  4. Align the artwork and press it onto the frame.

You’re done! If you want to swap out a piece, just pop out the existing piece of art and press in a new one that has Velcro in it’s corners.

“Rescued”

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“Rescued” is done and hung on the wall downstairs in our powder room! This was my first “commissioned” piece, done for my wife who wanted something with a lot of saturated color and big! The design is entirely from her and the passion and love she has for rescuing dogs, of which we’ve had the pleasure of fostering 114… and counting. When my wife says “rescue”, she means literally rescued from the kill list at the Austin pound, not “rescue” from a pet store (don’t do it… just adds to the breeding problem), and these dogs are often in really bad shape – parasites, detached intestinal walls, starvation, neglect, flea infestations, ticks, kennel cough, Parvo and more.  But she nurses them back to health, even waking at all hours of the night to feed them meds every couple of hours, and finds each one of them loving homes. She is amazing!

She also had the primary design in mind, of which you see in the picture – a large heart with the paw prints of our 3 dogs (yes, rescues all of them) on it. We had a lot of fun collaborating on the details, although she would say there was some stress involved in figuring out the right colors for each dog’s prints, which ended up as follows:

  • Pink – Crash, female, age 13
  • Green – Boom, male, age 12
  • Yellow – Zip, female, age 3

The process for getting the dog’s paw prints on the painting is worthy of a separate post, so I’ll pause here today and give an update on that entertaining adventure in my next update.

Tech details of the painting for those interested:

  • Canvass, 24″x36″
  • Colors were almost straight out of the tube, but had to make some small tweaks:
    • Blue background – Titanium White + a small amount of Pthalo Blue + tiny bit of Orange.
    • Red heart – Cad red medium
    • Green paws – Permanent Green Light + Titanium White
    • Yellow paws – Lemon Yellow + Titanium White
    • Pink paws – Titanium White + small amount of Alzarin Crimson
  • I added the Titanium White in heavier doses with the yellow and pink paws because it helps add opacity to those more transparent colors. Sitting atop the red heart it was helpful to cut back on the bleed through.

For the dog rescue lovers out there, the group we work with, Austin Pets Alive, is fantastic and is by far the most influential and impactful rescue group in Austin, perhaps all of central Texas. If you want to learn more, check them out.