It’s All In The Detail: The Abstract Lives of Famous Artists

For the second blog in my “It’s All In The Detail” series, I’m turning my attention to the artists themselves.
They say every picture tells a story but what about the story behind the pictures? When you spend as much time framing artwork and objects as I do, your mind is often drawn to the person who created the work in the first place.
We’re probably all familiar with the eccentricities of the likes of Vincent Van Gogh. More modern artists, such as Banksy, Tracy Emin and Damien Hurst are colourful characters who’ve attracted interest in their lives and thought processes as a result of ground-breaking work. But what about some lesser known tales?
Salvador Dali and the restaurant tantrum
Take Salvador Dali, for example, flamboyant to say the least but also, according to this tale, ahead of his time. In a scene more reminiscent of today’s modern living art, Dali was dining in his usual restaurant in his birthplace of Figueres, Spain (somewhere he frequented, sitting in the same seat, for over 60 years). On this occasion he’d asked to be seated at a different table. Having ordered fish soup, he suddenly jumped up, smashing the plate and shouting “I’m Dali!” It smashed and red soup flew all over the place and, after a few moments of embarrassed silence, Dali started to collect the pieces of the plate and sign them, handing them out to the other delighted guests. This final act seemingly transformed his unexplained outburst into its very own piece of art.

Claude Monet and his ‘attention to detail’
Like many artists of his time, Monet suffered with cataracts. As his vision blurred and colours lost their hue, he reluctantly agreed to have treatment (something which came with more than a little risk in those days). Thankfully he recovered but records show his doctor believed he had developed the ability to see UV light as a result of the operation. This is thought to be a major factor in what differentiates his style and makes his paintings so recognisable. He wasn’t painting what he saw, but instead the way the light enveloped those objects. His alternative approach to painting didn’t make him any less of a perfectionist though, with reports that he once employed a gardener to go out onto his pond every morning and dust the waterlilies before he would even consider putting brush to canvas.

Tamara de Lempicka and her supreme confidence
A lesser-known but no less renowned Polish-American artist by the name of Tamara de Lempicka began her career by the age of 12. Having sat for a famous painter, she hated the resulting portrait and was convinced she could do a better job herself. She went on to create her first ever picture, of her sister Adrienne, and went on to become a famous art deco painter.

There’s no doubt that with great talent comes eccentricity and a total lack of fear in showing your true self to the world. If you know of any other amazing artist anecdotes, I’d love to hear them.

Make Your House A Home With Artwork

Welcome to the first blog in my “It’s All In The Detail” series. I’m going to be taking a regular look at the finer points of artwork and framing and exploring how your pictures can really be brought to life – as well as making your home and surroundings come to life.

We take energy and inspiration from what’s around us. Whether we’re walking in the countryside or visiting a new city and enjoying the architecture, what we see builds memories and affects our mood.

It stands to reason, then, that we can really make the rooms in our house inspirational and thought-provoking by hanging artwork that we love in a place where we can truly appreciate it.

According to this article by, artwork is an important part of our décor because;

  • A picture can add depth and warmth to interior design
  • A picture provides an intricate design element to the overall décor
  • A lifeless wall can become dynamic with the right pictures and arrangements; and
  • Pictures can reinforce a formal or casual room design

Bring your artwork to life

Of course, the artwork itself is one thing, but getting a frame that does it justice is quite another. I wonder whether you’ve ever inherited or been gifted a picture or painting which isn’t framed to your taste? If so, and if you’ve gone on to change the frame, the results can be incredible. I’ve seen dusty old oil painting come to life with a more sympathetic frame; beautiful prints pop out with renewed vigour once their frame has been colour matched; and seemingly faded old photos get new energy with a thoughtfully matched frame designed to make them the focus of attention.

In fact, to quote House and Garden, “virtually anything can look good when framed and hung properly.” This article on their website explores how to hang, display and decorate with art.

I particularly love their statement that “the way art is displayed is crucial and transformative.” Having framed literally thousands of pictures, paintings, photos and objects over the years, I can certainly confirm this to be true.

The article also includes some excellent advice on how to hang a picture properly. This is key to getting the best from your picture and also to protect the frame, and that’s why I always attach fixings in the right place to any frame I supply.

Whatever your taste in frames, or your style of décor, adding artwork and pictures into the mix will personalise your room and make it unique to you. Whether you do this with family portraits or works of art which feature your interests and passions, the main thing is to have some fun and create a home which makes you smile as you walk around it.

Professional Qualification Awarded to Jules Sainter

Bledlow Ridge / Chinnor based picture framer, Jules Sainter GCF(APF) has just qualified as a Guild Certified Framer, the professional qualification that distinguishes framers and provides consumers with a recognised way to find excellent craftsmanship and service. Over 1000 framers have achieved this qualification, and Oxon / Bucks  residents can take advantage of having this local expertise at Lovingly Framed.

Guild Certified Framers are awarded their qualification by the Fine Art Trade Guild, the international trade association for the industry. Framing skills and knowledge are examined rigorously by an independent Guild appointed tester.

By qualifying as a GCF, Jules has demonstrated that she understands the importance of conservation framing, the use of appropriate materials to avoid future problems and also the range of framing options her customers may require. Unprofessional framing may allow unsightly stains to appear, or gradually cause the artwork to go brown and the paper to weaken; eventually a picture may literally fall apart. These things can be avoided by choosing a qualified professional. Knowledge and technology are improving all the time and precious and valuable pieces should be checked by a professional framer who can take remedial action to protect works to be kept for future enjoyment. Jules Sainter GCF(APF) has proved herself able to advise on the framing of unusual objects and memorabilia.