A Professional Frame For A Painting

This is the second time I’ve ever arranged framing for one of my own paintings. The first was for a painting I had made on a beautiful piece of walnut wood. I had left part of the intricate wood pattern showing and wanted to do it justice with a frame. Ross, a local (Dundee) independent framer, was a name that kept popping up, so I went to see him at his workshop. I had thought I would go for something deep brown to match the wood, or black perhaps. I had no idea. This was my first time framing a piece, though I had received many photos of my paintings framed professionally by collectors - often in tray frames. Ross casually pulled out a piece of walnut wood and said he could make the frame to match the surface of the painting. It looked absolutely stunning and the painting sold before the exhibition even opened.

I always wanted to go back to Ross to frame another painting, but there never seemed to be the right opportunity. Often this is something a buyer would arrange to match their home. With lockdown lifting, I decided it was the right time and selected ‘From SOBO’. It is a painting that has been around since late 2019, but I had recently repainted in a dusky pink and bright red. It’s quite a strong piece, so I thought it could handle a heavy matte-black frame around it - something bold, yet suitable for different rooms and tastes.

Whilst it was being framed, Ross noticed my scribbles on the reverse and decided to make an open back frame to ensure it could be read. I was touched and suprised to see this thoughtful detail. I absolutely love it!

The scribbles refer to the title ‘From SOBO’. SOBO was the ship that my dad’s dad travelled on from Lagos, Nigeria to the UK to work as a Nurse in North London, where he met my granny. My dad showed me these documents last Christmas and I found it
so exciting! This painting (on African fabric) was inspired by thoughts
of my heritage and where it all began.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss framing for any of my paintings. I would be happy to arrange framing before sending the work out, or I could give you a few ideas to share with your local framer. It isn’t at all necessary, but certainly adds a lot to the painting - especially with those patterned edges that are such a familiar feature of my work.

At Home Residency

I’m lucky that there has been a fairly consistent demand for my work
over the past three years. At least enough of a demand to keep me a
healthy amount of busy. There are SO many things I would love to explore
in my practice, but I previously haven’t had enough time. One of those things is
designing my own fabric to paint on.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing, I’ve
decided to pretend I’m on a  pre-paid residency at home. I’m going to
work through the ideas laid out in my imaginary proposal, using the
materials provided as part of the residency (luckily I have access to my
full studio at home).

I played around with painting patterns in gouache on paper. I will work
into these next, instead of my usual fabric stretched over a wooden
frame. My usual process of painting is quite expensive materials-wise,
so I tend to avoid mistake terriotory. Hopefuly these paper works will
allow me to be more free. 

Commissions: Fabric, Colours, Memories

Commissions are becoming a larger part of my studio practice. I used
to feel quite daunted by the challenge of painting the contents of another person’s imagination, but I now enjoy learning how
to filter these external ideas through my own style. A recent example is painting a sunset sky. I could paint it realistically, but then it wouldn’t look like one of my paintings . The greatest challenge is converting the outside world, into my painterly version. It’s much harder
than painting to my own demands, but the potential for unanticipated learning is endless.

Due to the way I use fabric in my work, commissioning a painting can involve selecting fabric and is therefore quite a creative process. I have previously worked with fabric of personal value, a design that matches a room, something that adds to the meaning of the painting, or simply a fabric that has caught the
collector’s eye.

Sometimes a colour scheme is discussed, or it could be an overall feeling that is desired (soft, relaxing, powerful, striking, contemplative, mysterious, etc). There are also occassions where I am asked to be fully led by my instincts - for example when the commission is to create something similar to a sold painting, or to a specific size.

When I feel the painting is nearly ready, I send on a photo to the collector
and have a discussion about how they feel about it. I would never
declare a painting finished until the collector was totally happy - I
hate the thought of creating something that was made other than a positive impact on a wall.

I am traditionally a portrait painter, though began exploring landscape
and still life from 2016 onwards. As a result, I am open to painting
most subjects - though I will be honest if I feel a subject cannot adapt
to my practice or style. In the past I have painted relatives or friends, places or landscapes of sentimental value, and
recreated the colour schemes of sold paintings with new fabrics and

Pricing is based on the size of the painting, but factors such as detail are considered too. I try not to take more than one large commission each month, so the commission
process usually takes around 6-8 weeks - this really does depend on the
weather too. Oil paint dries much slower is cold weather, therefore
painting is a much quicker process with warm sun to dry the layers of

Commissions are a conversation, so feel free to get in touch with any questions you have - even if you’re just at the early stages of an idea. You can read a bit more on my website HERE or send me an email to chat more.

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