Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Framing Your Artwork

I have worked as a custom framer/ archivist for several years and here are a few notes to keep in mind for frames.

Decide where you want to hang this piece.
It helps to visualize where this piece will end up when deciding on how to frame it.
Framing not only offers protection for the artwork but provides a visual transition between the work and the room it is in.

Is the space more rustic/ country/ coastal?
You will probably want to go with a frame of weathered or distressed wood.

Is the space more modern/ contemporary/ cosmopolitan?
Then consider frames with sharp corners and straight lines. Metal frames work well in this environment.

Is the space more Victorian/ regency/ traditional?
Then the classical fancy gilded museum frames may be a good choice.

Drawings or any works on paper usually have a matt board border. This first and foremost protects the artwork. You usually do not want the glass of the frame to rest directly onto your artwork. The color and texture of the matt helps provide a transition from artwork to wall. It can also help to emphasize or bring out certain aspects of the artwork.
A general rule of thumb is the color of the matt is determined by the 3rd most dominant color in the work. If any one color seems overwhelming or under whelming you can stack 2 or 3 matts of analogous colors. Stacking mats in this way does make the art seem for grand and offers more protection for the art.

Try to use a glass with a UV coating to prevent light damage. Non- glare glass is always nicer (but often more expensive). For very large pieces, consider Acrylic plexiglass. It is lighter than regular glass and far less breakable.

Visual Rhythm:
A little trick that makes the artwork always pleasing to look at is setting up a visual rhythm from artwork to walls. If your walls are a dark color use a light colored frame, then a dark, light, dark matt to the artwork.
Light colored walls? Use a dark frame, then light matts, alternating light then dark until you get to the artwork.
Using all dark colors or all light colors often seems overwhelming and can fatigue the eye.

A certified custom framer should be able to help you make these decisions and create a piece using all high quality archival (acid free) materials. Custom framing can be a bit of a a monetary investment. Large chain stores like Michaels/ Aaron brothers offer sales & coupons, but also great deals can be had at small local business framers as well.

Enjoy your artwork.  

Monday, December 11, 2017


Gallery Talley and Fair Market

top row fourth from the left. 
this is my 2nd piece in the Gallery Talley Project. 
Fair Market. will feature Gallery Tally, a crowd-sourced, social engagement art project in which 2000+ artists from around the world have joined the effort to collect and visualize statistical data regarding ratios of male and female artists in top contemporary art galleries. Artists were invited to make one posters for each gallery, in whatever style or medium they chose. It is a response and alternative to the hegemonic, hierarchical, patriarchal, heteronormative ‘standard’ that has unjustly dominated the art world for far too long.

“We didn’t want it be a space where objects were exchanged, but rather where ideas were exchanged,” said Zoe Lukov, the fair’s director.

A New Study Shows That Most Artists Make Very Little Money, With Women Faring the Worst The myth of the starving artist is anything but a myth.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017


“Donnie?” That’s such a Pittsburgh name.

I'm pretty sure this is what I said when I first met Donnie Toomer. That turned out to be a dumb thing to say cause he was born in Georgia. He moved to Pittsburgh to live with his dads. Those dads are rather prominent members to the gay community, owning a few clubs and shops around town. But more importantly, those dads are really nice guys. Donnie grew up running a spotlight for drag shows and had a few great stories about Queen drama. Donnie worked in a law firm by day, hustled his art at night. He had a very distinct style and vision that he worked very hard to develop. I had Donnie do a show at the gay community center during that short time I ran the gallery there. I feel fortunate to own a few of his pieces. Donnie could be very sensitive and emotional, which was difficult for him in a world that does not always appreciate that sort of thing. I remember a few conversations with him getting all worked up and passionate over this and that. And a few times having to talk him down when he got a little too carried away. When he had his show at that tattoo shop I had to show up to officiate a fight between him and that gallery owner.  Turns out Donnie has/had a large extended family. Lots of half- siblings and step- siblings in Georgia and Pennsylvania as well as the local art  and gay community. Last few years Donnie worked a lot with Art- All- NIght. Apparently, he was very passionate about that yearly event.  The last time I saw Donnie was at the MWFA gallery last winter. He had a show upstairs and my show was downstairs. Pretty sure I gave him a hug the last time I saw him. I’m glad I did.
There’s not going to be a funeral service, which is why I’m posting this here.
Donations can be made to  in his honor. 

Friday, April 28, 2017


Photos from Girls Rock.

Saturday, December 03, 2016


post election wrap up

"No, I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled person while addressing a crowd and still supported him. I think less of you because you saw a candidate spout clear racism day after day and still backed him. I think less of you because you heard him advocate for war crimes and still thought he should be given the reins of government. I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman's worth to where she landed on a scale of 1 to 10 and still got on board. I think less of you because you stood by silently while he labeled Mexicans as criminals and Muslims as terrorists.
"It wasn't your politics I found repulsive. No, it was your willingness to support someone who spouts racism, sexism, and cruelty almost every time he opens his mouth. You sided with a bully when it should have mattered most, and that is something I will never be able to forget.
"So in response to your post-election expression of hope, no, you and I won't be 'coming together to move forward.' Obviously, the president-elect disgusts me; but it is the fact that he doesn't disgust you that will stick with me long after the election." ~Phil Shailer, Hollywood

Thursday, November 03, 2016


Who's More Important?

Rembrandt, or the people who bought his work?

VanGogh or the rich idiots who failed to buy his work?

~ Blake Gopnik

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Monday, October 03, 2016



An Artist who has a lot of integrity about their work is one to be watched, rather than one intent in making a reputation overnight.

inˈteɡrədē/- the quality of being honest, the state of being whole and undivided.



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