Monday, December 13, 2010

Repost of excellent advice

I don't usually repost other peoples suggestions, but this is great advice and can be adjusted for different regions. Excellent ideas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Keepsake Ornament

The 2010 Johnson City Keepsake Ornament is available – the First Science Hill High School! Brass & 24K gold with a numbered certificate which includes the history of the school. Packaged in a gold foil, velvet lined box. All for a donation of $12/ornament.

Proceeds go to historic preservation activities in downtown Johnson City such as the Lady of the Fountain Plaza and the CC&O Railroad Station. Ornaments can be purchased from Nelson Fine Art, Johnson City Development Authority (423-928-2988) and other Downtown businesses.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interesting Shadowbox

This shadowbox created and built by NFA was presented by the ETSU Buccaneer Athletics Department to Paul Hoilman during halftime of the basketball game Saturday, 11/20. (BTW, ETSU won the basketball game.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cheap Price

I went to the local "mall store" and said "I want a navy Armani suit." The salesperson said, "That will be $1000." To which I said, "But at Sears, I can buy a navy suit for $200. I want all the quality, design, and features of the Armani for the same price." What do you think the salesperson said to me?

One of the common obstacles in custom framing is price "comparisons." It is so easy to look at 2 similar framings and wonder why one costs more, maybe a lot more, than the other. I can't speak for any other custom framers, only Nelson Fine Art and Tree House Custom Framing. You will never find corrugated cardboard in anything we do. The only mats and backing we use are conservation grade. On top of that, you get the experience and expertise. We've been framing for more than 20 years. The 2 shops have combined 66 years of existence. We read trade publications on framing, color, design and trends. We can do budget, but we also guide you to excellent framing decisions.

Besides, do you want the cheapest?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Latest exhibit at the Nelson

Transverse Orientation: recent paintings & drawings by ETSU students- opens Friday November 5 from 7-9 p.m. If you've never been to an opening at Nelson Fine Art, then you are missing the biggest ongoing event in Downtown Johnson City. For the past 9 years we've hosted hundreds of local artists in our monthly shows. The ETSU painting and drawing students represent the future of the field. Be prepared to be intrigued and challenged and maybe even offended a little. We will have food from Earth Fare and wine and music from Pat Whisnant. It's always fun.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gallery going Solar

Nelson Fine Art is the recipient of a Solar Installation Grant to help pay for the installation of solar array modules. $9M of federal stimulus money was allocated to Tennessee with applications accepted beginning June 21 this year. By late September it was completely awarded. 2 upper East Tennessee businesses were among those statewide receiving the grant. We were one! Our application was in by the beginning of August and we made it through the approval process in just 6 weeks. I must give credit to Lightwave Solar for making the process smooth and seamless. They will be handling the whole project. The local newspaper, Johnson City Press, had a nice piece in todays (10/4/10) paper.

I realize this has nothing to do with art or framing, but it puts us in place to be better stewards of energy not to mention instant savings on our electric bill!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Site back up (soon)

After about a year of using only this Blog and Facebook, we will have our website operational again thanks to Web Patch. The site, will be the center of the Gallery universe. Thank you for looking.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Using fillets

When a framer builds a frame for your artwork, he/she will build it slightly larger than the piece to go into it. That's called the "allowance" and the industry average is 1/8". The reasons for an allowance are many, but mainly to allow for expansion and contraction over time of the mats, artwork, or frame. It also allows a framer differences in calibration between mat cutters, glass cutters and frame building. When we use a fillet(some say fill-AY and some say FILL-it) in your mat or frame, there is no room for allowances. Everything must be exact. A fillet creates a very custom look and will make a simple plain framing into a showpiece. Expect it to be a little pricey, but I've never had anyone say, "darn I think it would have looked better with it." Here's a nice video from one of our suppliers on use of fillets.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How much does custom framing cost?

Daily, we have calls asking for a quote on framing a picture. Most people who call for a quote have never been to a custom framer so they are unfamiliar with the selection process. The key here, though, is the opportunity to earn a new customer through a very vague price quote that will never be accurate. If we say, for instance, her framing will be around $100, and she has already called someone else who said it would be around $80, then the customer may go to the "other place" even though their selection and expertise are both lacking. On the other hand, if we quote $100 and she comes in and the actual price is $150 or more, then the customer may be skeptical even though we were adamant when giving the phone quote, that the price will likely be different. Then, there's the 3rd hand which says, don't give quotes over the phone. A potential customer who bases it all upon a price before coming in has no concept of the potential beauty. On the other hand, if we get the customer in, we may be able to begin the process education. On the other hand, if she is basing her decisions upon price, then can she be swayed to appreciate the beauty of her framed piece. So, I still haven't answered my own question.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Women with Wings

In October 2009, we hosted Smoke and Mirrors, a body art show along with the Permanence of Shadows a photo exhibit of Paul Bishops work. The show was hugely popular with more than 500 in the gallery. It was so popular, the police had 5 calls by 2:00 p.m. and the exhibit didn't open till 7:00 p.m.! We immediately started discussing another showing and chose July 2010. So, opening Friday July 2 is Women with Wings. We will have at least 12 body artists and their models. Photos will follow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Signing

We will host a book signing for Jerry Greer and Charles Maynard Friday June 18 for the new release Blue Ridge-Ancient and Majestic. Jerry is a local photographer and has published more 8 books featuring his work and the work of other notable landscape photographers of the Southern Appalachians. The book signing will be from 7-9 p.m. with both Jerry and Charles on hand to discuss this new work.

Blue Plum Festival

We survived the 11th Blue Plum Festival. 80,000 in downtown Johnson City, TN is a lot of people. We've begun planning for Blue Plum 2011 already. Nelson Fine Art hosted the first Art Bazaar. First time we've done anything revenue producing during the Festival. I've been one of the organizers since it started and filled all my time handling details. You can count on a 2nd Art Bazaar. We sold more than 100 art pieces from the 22 artists on hand inside Nelson Fine Art.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Friday

In case you are not local or even if you do live in upper East Tennessee and just didn't know, every month at Nelson Fine Art we have an artist reception on First Friday. In our area, we started First Friday as a means of regularly introducing the community to the art of this region. Our first official First Friday was in December 2001 and featured local photography as well as the sculpture students of East Tennessee State University. Although we estimated the attendance of that first reception to be around 500 we have steadily and tirelessly grown the event and introduced artists to the community every month since then. Using rough math skills that is almost 100 openings and averaging 6 artists per reception comes to around 600 artists. Now, First Friday is an event embraced by all of our downtown. The streets are closed off, artists often set up in the street, there are usually 5-6 bands either in the street (weather permitting) or in the restaurants or night spots and there is usually some kind of special event (pet parade, street painting, cornhole tournaments, theater productions, etc.). Here are a few photos from April 2 inside Nelson Fine Art. More information can be found here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Performing during First Friday April 2nd

Nelson's Fine Art Center is proud to host Pat Whisnant, better known to to local club-goers as guitar slinger "Stogie the Bluesman" through tenures with many local bands. Pat will display a decidedly softer side April 2 during First Friday celebrations. Without band or vocals, he will deliver ambient music via his unamplified violin. During breaks in the music, Pat will have on display priceless originals from the "Golden Age of Penmanship." If interest is sufficient, and he feels in "good hand" he may be persuaded to pen a bit, himself. At any rate, the samples he'll have for viewing will be truly stunning examples from virtuousic exponents of a uniquely American artform that has all but disappeared. Pat has been commissioned for several weddings and one-off pieces where dignified script with a human touch is still valued. Musically, he is moving toward solo violin, guitar and mandolin (vocals optional) gigs for quieter and more thoughtful audiences and performance spaces. He can be reached: 423-202-1783 Be specific in subject line to avoid being missed in the spamstorm.

Custom Framing

In the 19+ years that I have owned a custom picture framing business, I've never seen the nature of the market change like it has in the past 2 years. Sometimes I wonder if people will stop having things framed. Of course, that's the extreme worrier in me. But, it is a good indicator of the priorities at least in this market in which we operate. In the past, that thought never even floated through my noggin. If you'd told me 5 years ago that Essyx, the oldest framing business in Johnson City, TN, would go out of business, I'd have laughed. Now, the doors are locked and there are 4 framers in a town that just a few years ago supported 8.

Our gallery is fortunate that we have more than one source of revenue although the framing is 75-80%. If it wasn't for framing, we'd have no art gallery or regular receptions for artists. So if you like what we're doing in the art community and you can't buy the art, keep us in mind for custom framing. It keeps us open and bringing local art to the community.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ETSU Sculpture Student Exhibit

This First Friday, April 2, from 7-9 p.m. at Nelson Fine Art Center, the ETSU Department of Art and Design invites you to see the "Student Sculpture Exhibit". ETSU specifically looks to provide an excellent education to the Northeast Tennessee region. This art exhibit showcases the quality of sculpture being produced by students that call the Tri-Cities and the surrounding area home. The students have produced great artwork that incorporates traditional and contemporary practices in sculpture. Please come out to support and see the great artwork of students in your community.

For more information about this event, call (423) 926-2931 or see us on Facebook. If you haven't already done so, please become a fan of Nelson Fine Art on Facebook for more news about exhibits, artists, and framing tips.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Art from the Buffalo School

For the past 5 or 6 years we've hosted an exhibit for Milligan College Art and Design students. Last year, there was a scheduling conflict and we had to have a year hiatus. Now, opening on First Friday February 5 is Art from the Buffalo School. The students have been in the gallery Wednesday and Thursday hanging and arranging for this showing. The work is diverse including photography, paintings, installation and some mixed media pieces. The Milligan exhibit will remain up till the end of February. The opening will be from 7-9 p.m. and we will have refreshments from Earth Fare.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Before and After

It's always gratifying to take a painting that was framed many years ago and bring it up to date. So often framing is used to force a piece into a decor. One of the upsides to framing practices is that we tend to be more neutral these days. It's so easy to look at something framed as recently as 10 years ago and identify when it was framed. Now, the best framing uses more classic frames and cleaner matting. We can always use subtle techniques like fillet's and spacers to create the custom look.

Here's the critique on why the "before" was wrong and why the "after" is right. 1) In the past, it was common to "pull out" a color from the painting and blast us with it. That is the major "wrong" in this painting. Now we use a neutral top mat with some subtle color or another neutral as an inner mat. 2) In the first framing, we are hit with too much mat and it tends to confine the painting. With the more neutral matting, although the same size as the before, the painting looks bigger and more open. The next 2 observations are more difficult to see in a photo. 3) When you use a single mat a painting can look very flat. With the double mat you get some dimension. 4) On the after, we used a spacer between the mats so it adds to the 3d feeling and it looks more custom. Finally, 5) the before frame is too small, period.