Framing Sue’s Paintings For The Mansion

Framing Sue Silverstein paintings for the Mansion.

My footsteps echoed down the long brightly lit hallway, toward the double green doors, a back way into the Mall.  I dreaded the that walk and for the first year of so of working in the frame shop that the doors led to, thought of it as The Green Mile, like in the Stephen King book about death row.

Dramatic yes, but it also made me feel better, made me laugh at myself.

I had moved upstate from Long Island where I had been working in a Museum.  It was my dream job.  I did everything from picking up art from artist’s studios in Soho (it was the early 90’s and artists still lived in Soho) to installing it in the museum and creating catalogues for the exhibits.

Working in a frame shop in a  Mall, selling prints of Race Horses, was tough on my sense of self, but it was the only job I could find that suited me.

And as much as I dreaded the thought of it, I did learn useful skills beyond framing pictures.

Tricks like keeping your elbow locked when cutting or drawing a straight line. I learned  to measure accurately down to the 16th of an inch.   And about colors and how they change depending on what color they were next to.  (something I didn’t learn in art school). I also learned how to suggest good designs  to people and guide them away from their bad designs without pissing them off.

After a while I began to enjoy the work.  I was good at it.  Even, surprisingly to me,  the sales part. And the shop was busy enough that there was always something to do and  something new to learn.

So when Jon came home with eight  paintings that Sue Silverstein, from Bishop Maginn Catholic School, was donating to hang in The Mansion, Assisted Living Facility, I knew I could frame them and do it inexpensively.

I measured Sue’s paintings then ordered frames and mats from a company online, foam core from Amazon and glass from the local hardware store.

Today I put them all together, the old skills coming back to me as I began working.  My hands just knew what to do.

It’s lots of good hard work on Jon’s part that makes things like this come together, and  it feels like a  little magic, too.

Something about Jon working with the young and the old and how they’re overlapping.  That Sue had a feeling her paintings would be just right for The Mansion and wanted to donate them. How I got to be a part of it all by knowing how to frame them.  And how once again, the Army of Good was there to pay for the materials.

Jon and I are bringing Sue’s framed paintings to  The Mansion tomorrow. We’ll work with the staff to see where they go best.  It’ll be fun, like curating a show.  Then we’ll just have to get Sue there to see them all.


2 thoughts on “Framing Sue’s Paintings For The Mansion

  1. How many layers of you are there? I always say we are the sum total of our experiences in life (well, somebody said it), and every time I read your blog, another of your amazing talents is being demonstrated! What fun and joy that all of these elements have come together; the art, the need for it, your bringing the whole thing to fruition, and sharing it all with the AOG!

    Happy, happy Monday, indeed! (And your prose is so good, that a book of your photographs and prose would be yet another element of Maria the Magnificent!)

    1. Ah you must have been reading Jon’s blog Barbara. He does make me look good. It is true though that when we look back on our lives, I think there is always more than we’d thought.

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