rectangle oil painting w/ oval image

Adam

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my latest challenge...A customer brings me a 40x60 approx canvas that the artist painted the entire top but only finished the bottom as an oval. It was in bad shape and currently at the restorer's getting re-lined, cleaned, etc. The customer wants to view it as an oval but insists that it stay stretched as a rectangle as to not lose the upper corners. The customer would also prefer no glass on the piece.

My first thought was to cut a large 8ply rectangle mat w/ oval opening and glass but no glass per customer req. if possible.

Any other ideas. Anyone ever attempt a wooden mat then gessoed and fabric covered or ???? any other ideas to get down to an oval opening of sorts?

thanks.
 

Adam

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Do you think they are avail in that large of size? I've only seen them in small readymade sizes.
 

Framing Goddess

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I think your 8 ply mat idea could work, as well. I would cover it with fabric- like linen- for a more finished look. For something that large, I might consider using chipboard for the mat for extra rigidity. A rag barrier mat behind that would be no problem and give it even more stiffness. You could call it a 'liner' and not cover it with glazing. I have a few smaller pieces at home done this way and they look very nice.

Can you cut one that large?

If not, maybe your favorite finished corner maker could make a gilded wood mat and you could use your regular framing stock for the frame. Give Cornel at American Choice a holler.

If it were my painting, I would insist that it stay rectangular, also.

edie the thatsmystory goddess
 

Kit

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So I'm wondering what the artist was thinking when he created this oddly shaped piece. Did he run out of paint? Or perhaps it was a custom order for a couple, one of whom wanted an oval while the other didn't.

Evidently it's an old piece since it needs to be cleaned and relined. Any idea what the original framing looked like?

I like the idea of a fabric covered mat with an oval opening. It might be a good idea to ScotchGuard the fabric if you can't talk the customer into glass or - at 40 x 60 - plexi.

Kit
 

Pat Murphey

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I'll bet that you could get APF/Munn to make you a half spandrel with a filler for the balance of the rabbet and an authentic period frame in that size - no problem. You could then show all of the artist's work with no glazing.

Pat :D
 

Adam

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Yeah I dont get why the bottom was finished that way. It almost seems the intent all along was to be framed oval but why put such detail into the upper corners just to cover it up. I would have looked nice with a rectangle bottom and domed top but not the reverse. I believe it was dated in the 40's...not sure since it's not in front of me now. It was brought in framed in a white over gold small framed on top of a 3/8" thick cardboard type mat that had been painted gold. The customer said his mother would take the gold mat off every couple of years and spray it with gold spray paint to keep it looking good. It was nailed, duct taped, etc. unstretched to the back of the frame. Needless to say time took its toll on the piece. It was so dry any stretching would pull it apart.

Does the scotchguarding change the color of the fabric at all? I have thought about it but never used it before.
 

Kit

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Originally posted by Adam:
I would have looked nice with a rectangle bottom and domed top but not the reverse.

<font color = blue>So hang it upside down?</font>

Does the scotchguarding change the color of the fabric at all? I have thought about it but never used it before.
No, it shouldn't change the color but you could do a small test piece if you're worried about it. Let it air dry overnight before putting it on the painting.

This thing intrigues me. Are we talking 1840's or 1940's? If the latter, have you checked the upper corners for secret spy messages?

Kit
 

Adam

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1940's...It's been a long day at the shop when we start searching for spy messages in the artwork. That would have at least made sense why it was painted only there then covered up. It was painted here in Washington State (local mountain scenery type stuff). Wait, those clouds did kinda look like a map of.....
 

Kit

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C'mon Adam, Where's your sense of adventure?

You could have one of Amelia Earhart's reconnaissance maps right there in your shop.

What have you decided to do about the framing?

Kit
 
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