Here's our November Framer's Corner with our design outreach coordinator and framer,
Isabel Hamilton!
Recently, our store was graced by the presence of a very exciting customer, one of the world’s leading magical realist painter, sculptor, and stone lithograph printer, Michael Parkes.
Michael Parkes' works are collected by celebrities, prominent private collectors, and galleries around the world, and his body of work stands for all ages.

Early in his career, Michael painted in the Abstract Expressionist style, which was normal among his teachers, but after his pause for reflection he began to draw and paint in a meticulous style of detailed representation which would enable him to give full expression to his inner world of images.

The style was realistic, the subject matter magical, and Magic Realism has characterized his work ever since.

Even as a student, Michael was fascinated by various graphic processes, and in recent years Michael Parkes has become highly proficient in the difficult medium of the color stone lithograph.

When Michael and his wife Maria Parkes, visited our store, they brought in their dear friend Kelly Felstet for a special surprise. Kelly did not know what a treat she was in for! The Parkes brought in a stone lithograph print by Michael Parkes himself, a gift for Kelly, and when the Parkes revealed this to Kelly, she was stunned!

The piece, titled Ex Libris , is a hand pulled stone lithograph. The print is of a striking young woman back to back with a friendly green dragon, reading atop a stack of books as a small mouse peers over the young woman’s shoulder for a peek. With subtle colors and a whimsical theme, the piece is a delicate and detailed work of art.
Our designer, Isabel Hamilton, knew as soon as she saw the piece that the framing had to be as unique as the work of art itself.

They selected a very muted blue called Steel Drum for the bottom mat to bring out the blue of the small dragon in the picture. Everyone agreed that the lithograph would be best displayed as a float mount on top of the Steel Drum mat, so that every element of the piece could be shown. Having the piece raised above the bottom mat also created a nice shadow between the edges of the piece, and the top mat that accompanied the piece, creating a depth of field around the piece.

For the top mat, they selected a luxurious fabric wrapped mat from Frank’s Fabrics called Europa Natural. Our fabric wrapped mats are hand wrapped, so the fabric’s cut edge cannot be seen, and they are thicker than other mats, which adds both depth and sophistication. 
Then, for the frame! Maria, Michael, Kelly, and Isabel all agreed the frame would need to be ornate and delicate, just like the piece itself. Having a frame with the right amount of ornate details would help to bring out all the many small details in the piece that played an important part in the overall design.

They found the perfect match to the piece with the Light Gold Prague moulding from Larson Juhl. The Prague family of frames not only has deeply carved patterns, but a subtle antique guilding, making the frame feel light and not overpowering. The gorgeous dusty textures of the frame, with bright spots of pale gold and antique red help the moulding feel dramatic but subtle and was a perfect fit for this piece.

Isabel knew that Museum glass would be the best choice for glass on this piece, having 99% UV protection and amazing clarity so the viewer can really focus on the art itself without the glare of any reflection.

In the end, the piece is complimented with a frame that is classic, subtle and detailed enough to fit perfectly with this work of art, making sure the art is complimented by the design, and not overpowered.

“The overall effect is quite stunning, and perfectly accents Ex Libris . It was a joy to design, and a pleasure working with Kelly, Maria and Michael!” - Isabel Hamilton

To see more works of art by the talented Michael Parkes, follow the link below to his website:
Our last Framer's Corner of 2019 is coming up next month!
1706 Brooks Street
Missoula, MT 59801