Thursday, August 21, 2014

Frame a Wish for Make A Wish Foundation

When we were asked about framing mementos for a Make A Wish youngster this summer we of course said, "Yes."  Eight year old Jonathan "Jon Jon" Dockins is a heart patient and train nut whose wish was to drive an Amtrak Zephyr train over Donner Pass in the Sierras. With the cooperation of Make A Wish, Amtrak and many kind people throughout California and Nevada, Jon Jon had a fabulous experience on the trains and came away with many memories and mementos of the event.

Studio Shop framer Micah Paul was contacted by Amtrak engineer Ken Powell about creating a memory frame for Jon Jon and his family in Jackson, Missouri. Micah quickly started planning the layout of the several items and created a mock-up in Photoshop to easily show the event organizers for approval.

The frame design includes a hinged door so that Jon Jon can remove the toy train from the frame for running on his track at home.
Hinged frame for access to train.

The moulding is a unique and beautifully appropriate line with lots of mechanical details called Steam Punk.

To help out the organizers Micah selected images from a large batch of digital photos and then printed the best ones for the frame.  He also printed  the logos for Amtrak, the train engineers union and historic train lines from digital files.

The moulding's mechanical details  inspire its name, Steam Punk.
Jon Jon in the driver's seat.

Golden spike and other detail close ups.
Lock detail and custom Conductor Jon Jon sign.

CBS news video about Jon Jon's train trip.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Art Groupings

Salon style
Arrangements of framed artwork create a special decorating touch in your home and needn't be difficult to make.  There are many ways to create art arrangements, but three basic types of wall groupings are the Grid, the Mosaic and the Salon.  


The Salon style is the loosest form and is derived from 19th century Paris salons where art was hung floor to ceiling, (before there were big screen televisions). Don’t be afraid to cover the wall. This is your chance to get creative and let the art sing. If done properly, the grouping can have a lyrical feel as your eye moves from one piece to the next.

With the Salon style it is okay to be completely eclectic or pick a theme or color for a more calming effect.

Hanging is best done by planning ahead by laying out your pieces on the floor to create an arrangement.  Take a picture of the arrangement with a phone or camera before you start putting them on the wall.  Be sure to measure your wall space beforehand to check that the art will fit.
Salon style with objects


The Mosaic art hanging differs from the Salon in that it is a little more formal.  The framed artwork is still of varied sizes and styles but with a more linear outline.  Begin creating your arrangement by laying your art on the floor and try to leave space of 2 - 4 inches between pieces.  You can then use masking tape on your wall to outline where the grouping will go.  This helps you visualize the end result and also serves as a guide when hanging. 

Grid arrangement

Grid patterns are made up of equal sized artworks like this collection of map lithographs. Hanging requires careful measuring and patience.  For tips about measuring and hanging art go to our How-to-hang-art page for instructions and a video.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Melinda Cootsona - Figurative Paintings on exhibit Sept. 12 - 28, 2013

We are really looking forward to the next art show starting in a few days with Melinda Cootsona, September 12 - 28.  See new paintings of the exhibition here...>>

Artist Reception, Thursday, Sept. 12, 6 - 8 pm.
Artist Talk, Thursday, Sept. 19, 6 pm.

As you may know we have been super busy the last month expanding the Studio Shop gallery and remodeling the space next door, 248 Primrose, what used to be the wallbed store and before that the shoe repair.  But before we even thought of expanding, we had planned Melinda's show for September and now it seems entirely appropriate that Melinda's figurative paintings will be the inaugural exhibition for the new gallery space.

Shoe Tie, Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.
Not only do Melinda's paintings look simply wonderful on the new walls, but her figurative abstractions also have a certain architectural quality with strong compositional use of line and areas of color.  These portraits/constructions show the influence of Bay Area Figurative painters such as Richard Diebenkorn who currently has a show at the DeYoung Museum.  Cootsona's figures appear thoughtful and contemplative, moods mirrored in the paintings in general. In the introduction to Melinda's book of this exhibition, Marianne Rogoff writes,
"Through generous applications of paint and numerous layers of shapes, colors, and shadows that move around on the canvas as she works, the artist provides ample room for us to enter the mind-states of her deep-in-thought figures."  Read more of Melinda Cootsona's artist bio here...>>

Also view a video of Melinda at work in her studio here...>>
Melinda's Blurb book can be purchased at The Studio Shop, or previewed and purchased here...>>


Monday, July 29, 2013

Brandon Beatson, Photographer, 1980 - 2013

In tribute to young photographer Brandon Beatson, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 33, the Studio Shop will host a photography exhibition and fundraiser this Sunday, Aug. 4 at 2PM. Brandon was living in Costa Rica and pursuing his dream of photographing nature and surf action shots.  (view Brandon's images) As a result of this heartbreaking tragedy we have had the great opportunity to work closely with Brandon's parents and friends to produce an exhibition which honors Brandon's photography and raises funds for charities he felt deeply about.

Upon hearing the news of Brandon's death our hearts broke for Brandon's parents, David and Diana, his younger brother, Brian and his family and friends. It is way too sad when someone dies too young, before the chance to live a full adult life. What started as grief and sorrow and sadness sparked a thought of how to honor Brandon's creativity. Why not offer the gallery as a space to exhibit  Brandon's photography?  Janet mentioned the idea to Diana, who said that his friends had been thinking of holding an exhibition and were looking for a space to hold the event, so this was perfect.  Sometimes when things happen easily it is for a reason.

A meeting was set-up with Brandon's parents and we got to meet his friends, Bill, Joe, Chris, Justin and others, all wonderful, gracious people.  Everyone was united in the cause of Brandon's memory and wanted to contribute to make the event happen. There would be camera cards to sort through, discussions about printing and Brandon's favorite charities.  As an avid Giants fan and dog lover, proceeds would go to the San Francisco Giants Community Fund and the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue.

Twenty nine thousand images later, thanks to the patience of our digital tech Ty Nguyen and the help of friends and family,  Brandon's life's work has been curated to thirty three images that will be in the exhibition.  The show is divided into several categories representing Brandon's photographic passions, nature, sports, surfing, street photography, cityscapes and abstract.

When we started thinking about details like donation receipts, splitting proceeds to multiple charities we wondered what we got ourselves into.  It would be a book-keeping nightmare to run it through the Studio Shop. Along came Larry Harper of the Good Tidings Foundation to the rescue.  He offered to take care of the business side of things and distribute funds to the partnering charities.  It feels great when things start falling into place and gaining momentum.

Just a few days left to go.   Most of the printing is done.  Even the two 24 x 36  prints came back and they look gorgeous: a landscape of sand dunes at White Sands National Monument and a beautiful surf action shot.  I can't wait to see the framed photographs on the wall.  We'll be busy this week with picture framing and typing final image lists.  The art installation will happen on Saturday night, just in time for the Sunday festivities.  

Stop in and see the show Sunday, Aug. 4, 2pm.  Remember, all the proceeds benefit the Giants Community Fund, Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue and the Good Tidings Foundation.
In loving memory of Brandon Beatson, 1980 - 2013.

The exhibition will be held at The Studio Shop, 244 Primrose Rd., Burlingame, CA 94010
For more information, call the gallery at 650-344-1378


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Studio Shop Staff Art Show, July 2013

This July The Studio Shop is doing something new and completely different, a staff art show to display the multi-talented creativity of our awesome Studio Shop team.

Photo collage by Ty Nguyen  
Ty Nguyen brings his digital photography skills to The Studio Shop where he photographs the art work and performs digital retouching and printing for clients.  He is a recent photography student at the Acadamy of Art University in San Francisco where he prefers to shoot in film and then print in both darkroom and digitally.  The above scene is a panoramic photo collage of an iconic San Francisco location,  made with over 90 prints and spanning almost 8 feet.

Sculpture by Gary Mohan
Gary Mohan is the Studio Shop head framer and is a multi-talented artist with work in photo printing, mixed media and sculpture(on the right). 

In his early artistic period Gary experimented with unique methods of photo printing which included Vaseline, photo paper and a face plant.  Sounds weird but the results are amazing and you have to come in and see for yourself.  One of his prints won first place in a Marathon County, Wisconsin, photo contest but then was unfortunately lost when it went to the state contest in Madison.  Now this extremely rare work of art is probably in someone's attic waiting to be rediscovered by Antiques Roadshow and acknowledged as the ground-breaking work that it truly is. Another print from that series has survived and will be on display.

Photo by Steve Stowell

Steve Stowell is the frame builder and master of wood finishing at The Studio Shop.  He is also an extremely fine photographer with a career spanning several decades from a Sears camera with flash cubes to shooting weddings with a Mamiya medium format film camera.  Today Steve carries a digital camera on hikes and bike rides capturing his visions of pattern and composition.

Painting by K. Benson    
Kristen Benson, gallery manager, art consultant and frame designer extraordinaire, is a long time artist with an art degree from Humbolt State.  She has worked in textiles, mixed media and currently a lot of painting.  The piece on left is painting on canvas and titled Moment by Moment.

Photo Office Stairs    
Carl Martin wears many hats at The Studio Shop including web meister, art installer, IT, HR, photographer, trombone player and janitor.  While his trombone playing will not be on display, some of his photography will be. The architectural photo on the right is of an office stairway in Belmont and part of a series of other Bay Area locations.

Also, Janet Martin and Julie Venosa, too late for photographs so come see their work in person.

finely executed landscape painting reveals a powerful dose of artistic DNA from her father, life long career artist Joseph Kertesz.  Julie gained another couple decades of arts education by successfully running the family's Kertesz Gallery in San Francisco in the 80s and 90s.

Janet began her arts education by growing up with her parents at The Studio Shop.  During her college years she supported herself as a working artist by carving and selling wood sculptures.  More recently she has delved into mixed media/found art sculptures which will be on display at The Studio Shop.