- We're Ready When You Are!
When you're tired of looking at this:Kirkland Bath Tissue, 6 Rolls, 425 Sheets per roll, 2 ply, 3187 Sq. Ft, 4.5" x 4.0," Septic Safe
We have some real artwork to show you:Bartlett Lake Wake, by Julie Gilbert Pollard, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30"
Hey, we get it. Everyone is stressed, and rightfully so. This next period of time is going to be challenging for all of us. So wash your hands, get plenty of sleep, stay away from big crowds. Do all the things to keep you and your families safe and sound. Maybe you had to cancel a trip, but here's a tip: looking at great artwork can reduce your stress levels, like this beautiful image of Bartlett Lake by Julie Gilbert Pollard. Lowering your blood pressure and your stress is great for your immune system. We are a small local veteran-owned business, and honestly, we depend on your continued patronage to keep our doors open and pay our staff, who have served this valley faithfully for over thirty years. We'll get through this, together. We're ready when you are. Come see us. Peace out! Pat, Robert, Ron, Rosie, and Stella.
- Amazing Artwork at Amazing Prices!Getting to see fabulous artwork every day is just one of the benefits of working in an art gallery/custom framing studio. as a matter of fact, it's so intoxicating that over the years we have managed to acquire a collection of incredible artwork.We have stunning artwork in folios, print bins, folders, and flat files. Now, we are making this artwork available to our friends and clients, and the best part is that the prices are as amazing as the artwork.
Here's a case in point:A lovely Iris Graphic by Sandy Kaiser, Board member of the California Art Academy and Museum, 24" x 24" Signed and numbered by the artist in a very low edition of 108 images, entitled Peonies and Bachelor Buttons, complete with the Certificate of Authenticity.Original price: $1,500.00, Now 80% off for only $300.00
- Ever Wonder What Goes on in the Back Room? Chances are, that if you bring in some artwork to be framed at Esprit Decor Gallery, you will be greeted by Robert Hilton, our amiable and hard-working Gallery Director, who helps guide our clients thru the myriad decisions that are a natural part of having a piece of artwork framed.
It's much less challenging than it would seem, what with thousands of frame samples, hundreds of mats, filets, fabric and glazing options to choose from, but Robert's superb eye for great design, his ability to listen to our client's needs and desires, and his friendly manner put everyone at ease, as he deftly guides them through the framing solution process, ensuring that the finished product will be a treasured addition to your home!
After the order is finalized, an incredibly complex choreography begins. The due-date of the artwork is recorded and added to the schedule. The artwork is safely tucked away in one of over twenty different locations depending on its state, size, type, and condition. Special instructions are included and double-checked, materials are sourced, stock is verified. Orders are placed, most often from multiple vendors. The wheels begin to turn as the orders are filled at suppliers' warehouses, both near and far. Messages go back and forth noting exceptions that must then be addressed. Is the item out of stock? When will it be back in stock? Can we wait, or do we get it from an alternate vendor, and is one available? What's our deadline? What is our deadline?
Now multiply this recipe a hundred times, have it all happen simultaneously, and you begin to understand the choreography that goes on behind the scenes as each order is shepherded through the actual framing process, which has yet to begin.
Once all the materials have arrived and been checked in and inspected (sometimes a mat will have a flaw, or moulding will be warped, or have imperfections, which will trigger a flurry of other actions) the framing process can begin. First, an entirely new set of measurements is taken, down to 1/16th of an inch. Special instructions are noted which might change the process entirely.
Moulding is cut on a custom double-miter picture framing saw using special carbide-tipped blades to ensure a perfect cut, at the perfect angle. After the cuts and moulding are re-inspected, the frame is glued using special PVA glue and joined on a pneumatic-powered underpinner, which leaves no marks or nail holes on the sides of the moulding.
Meanwhile, museum-grade archival mats are cut on a computer-controlled mat cutter to a precision of one-thousandth of an inch. The artwork is then either mounted using heat and vacuum in an oversized vacuum press, archivally hinged, stitched or pinned using stainless-steel pins, special mounts are fabricated – each technique selected for the hundreds of different types of images and objects that pass through our workroom in any given month.
One of nine different types of glazing material (all with an ultra-violet blocking component) is cut for the artwork (clear UV blocking, reflection control, different types of plexiglass, and yes, museum glass) and matched up to the matted artwork. Sometimes hand-made spacers are prepared to separate the artwork from the glazing.
Finally, the components are lovingly assembled, the back of the frame is closed up, backing paper applied, hanging hardware, plastic coated wire and protective felt discs are added, and our gallery sticker is put on the back of the dust cover. The finished frame is put inside a protective bag and carefully stored on fabric-lined shelving, separated by individual dividers. The work order status is updated, and an email goes out, followed by a phone call to let you know that your piece is ready to go.
- Summer Is All About...Museums?One of my kid's fondest memories, and a standing family joke, is all the museums I dragged them through. Even when they grew up and we got to travel together, no vacation was complete without a visit to the Louvre, the Prado, the De Young, the Met; honestly, I could go on and on.Eventually, however, the tables turned. My son Nate and I did Italy. His fave? The Galileo Museum in Florence...and it was his idea! My daughter Angela texted me about a major Hockney retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and of course, I couldn't resist. Elitist? Maybe, but you could do a lot worse. At least it's not Nickelback.One of the most amazing things I got to see on a visit to Getty in Los Angeles some time ago was the stunning painting of Irises, by Vincent Van Gogh. The color, luminosity, and composition almost allowed the long-passed master to reach out through the canvas, across the centuries and grab me by the heart, to demonstrate the magnificence and power of his vision.So here's a small suggestion: It's summer; take a vacation. You deserve one. And take your kids, they deserve some of your time. Visit a museum together, you might be surprised at your kids' taste, and that they have opinions! It's safe, and after all, it's not politics.Museums are a vast storehouse of our humanity. They are a secret passageway, a wormhole, if you will, to a past we can only imagine, with the help of their treasures. One through which we can learn much about ourselves, and perhaps rediscover, and share, our own humanity.Irises – by Vincent Van Gogh, Saint-Remy, France, 1889.
- Angelic ReliefWhen you think of custom framing, most people think of oils, watercolors, prints and the like. True enough, but at Esprit Decor Gallery, we are often asked to frame dimensional objects: rugs, sports jerseys, military medals, pistols, swords, tickets, and other decorative memorabilia.
Here's a case in point. A client brought in an alabaster angel musician that had languished outdoors for a number of years, and upon consideration, she decided to bring it indoors, spruce it up a bit and hang it in a place of honor indoors.
In consultation with Robert, our Gallery Director, she chose a lovely heliotrope ribbed fabric for the angel to float on, complemented by a tasteful and understated dark burgundy oval frame.
Dare I say that it turned out heavenly? You be the judge:
- Manly PierThis is an image from my recent trip to Sydney. What an amazing place! Their rapid transit system is unified and consists of light rail, trains, busses and ferries. You purchase an Opal card that works on everything, and “top it up” as you go, so getting around the city is a breeze. A short half-hour ferry ride from Circular Quay next to the Sydney Opera House brings you to Manly Wharf on the North side of the harbor. This is an image of the wharf, processed as a watercolor. It printed up beautifully, and I laminated it rather than putting glass in front of it. I added a simple charcoal wire brushed frame to work with the weathered elements of the pier, and ended up taking it home, to remind me of all the fun I had on the trip. More images to come. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
Manly Pier, NSW Australia
- A Close Call in Paris
- Standing on A Corner in Winslow, Arizona...If you have ever found yourself "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," then you'd be just a hop, skip and a jump away from the subject of today's post, which is La Posada, one of the most important buildings of 20th-century American architecture. It was a Harvey House, designed by the legendary Mary Colter, and restored by Architect Allan Affeldt and his wife, Tina Mion, working in concert with Marie LaMar of the Winslow Historical Society and Janice Griffith of the Old Trails Museum. Together, along with the cooperation of the City of Winslow, They saved La Posada and made it a living museum for the world to enjoy!
- Ten Little IndiansDorothea Lange, one of my favorite photographers, once famously said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." How true! Photographers are trained to notice details that others might overlook. In the same way a musician's ear hears sound differently than most of us, so too, a photographer looks at the world consciously in terms of light, contrast, composition, tone, rhythm and detail in a way that most of us look at automatically and sometimes unconsciously. Here's a case in point: in the image below, which was taken at the Tres Rios Wetlands (the confluence of Salt, Agua Fria, and Gila Rivers in Maricopa County Arizona) the casual observer might see six or seven great blue herons standing in their nests. A trained photographer would see all ten! Can YOU pick them all out? Good luck!
Great blue herons nesting in a cottonwood tree at the Tres Rios Wetland in Maricopa County, Arizona.
- One of my Side HustlesBy now, most of the people around me know that I'm passionate about photography. There's always new stuff to learn, new places to photograph, and new ways to do it, not to mention all the new gear and software coming out on a daily basis. Sometime it seems to be a never ending stream of learning curves, trial and error, adjustments and the like that keep photographers on their toes, and keep our avocation fresh. My primary focus has always been travel and landscape photography. I love to go, and pretty much anywhere. See new places, meet new people, share adventures and discoveries. However, practical matters like running a small business for the last thirty years have made the vagabond life impractical. There's a lot of logistical work involved in going half way 'round the world, and fortunately I have an amazing crew who covers for me and makes it possible for me to indulge my passion. For the last several years, I've been working with Interior designers and real estate companies doing architectural and interior photography. It's a whole different discipline, choosing angles, creating and telling stories through sequential images, blending daylight, incandescent, fluorescent and now LED light sources to achieve a harmonious balance, bracketing exposures and making HDR composites, focus stacking and lots more. The bottom line? It's actually made me a better landscape photographer.
- Opera Garnier – Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Heatwave – Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Misty Morning at Manorhamilton – Pat Kofahl
- Sahara – Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Clearing Storm - Sedona. Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Dust Storm – Monument Valley – Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Palazzo Publico & Torre del Mangia – Siena by Pat Kofahl
- Clouds – Monument Valley – by Pat Kofahl
- Silent Sunrise – Grand Canyon by Pat Kofahl
- Snowfall at Sunrise – Watson Lake by Pat Kofahl
- Clearing Storm – Cimarron Ridge, Colorado by Pat Kofahl
- First Snowfall at Owl Creek – Photography by Pat Kofahl
- Point Imperial – North Rim – By Pat Kofahl
- Bright Angel Sunset – North Rim – Pat Kofahl PhotographyArizona, Grand Canyon,
- High Country Snowfall – Photography by Pat Kofahl