Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thoughts on Some Gallery Artists' Receptions

Last night I attended three art gallery receptions in Palm Springs, CA. One of those was for an artist I actually know; the other two I stumbled upon but decided to check 'em out.

The artist is Carrie Graber ( She paints architectural details and interiors, often with a female in the scene who looks an awful lot like her.

Carrie Graber

This is one of Carrie's paintings. It's realistic, yet she somehow achieved a look that would allow the piece to fit into contemporary homes or offices (unlike MY paintings, which are modeled after 19th century -- or older -- artwork). Most of her paintings seem very light and airy, even this nighttime scene. Her work is detailed but uncluttered which I believe is partly what gives her paintings that open look. They're quite pleasing to look at and would fit anywhere.

I noticed Carrie framed her paintings in a simple, natural-wood (pine? maple? ??) tone -- not a wide molding at all. I also noticed artwork in the other galleries I visited were framed the same way. And ANOTHER artist I know and like, Mary-Austin Klein (, uses similar frames for HER pieces!

Mary-Austin Klein
Clouds Over East Mojave             Mary-Austin Klein
(I love the zen-like feeling of Mary-Austin's art -- realistic, almost photographic; yet, uncluttered, lots of open space as with Carrie's work).

You can see the kind of molding I'm talking about here on Mary-Austin's paintings:

Again -- very simple, minimal blonde-colored wood molding. The grain is visible when you see it up-close.

All this made me think (OMG -- he's thinking!): is this a trend in framing contemporary art? Is this something I need to consider doing? And -- do I need to think about simplifying my painting and go for "zen realism"?

Don't know, don't know. I still love the works of the 19th century American Hudson River School painters and the drama they often portrayed. But I like Carrie's and Mary-Austin's look, too. And I'll bet they sell better in today's art-buying taste!

Some things I have to think about. (I should attend more gallery openings, too!)


Chris Marx said...

Wow, all beautiful works. And I understand what you're saying on the framing. Those all look fantastic in the minimal frames. If that is the trend, it can't hurt to try a couple of your current pieces in those frames. I don't think your work is ever considered dated. It's classic and perfectly executed. I think it may be a matter of getting it in front of the right buyers....a big problem for every artist. It's also fun trying out different painting styles and experimenting. You might stumble on something amazing!

Mark J said...

Thanks, Chris. I agree with everything you've said. I guess I may need to play around with different stuff and maybe keep doing what I've been doing to hang in our own home. =)