Tagged Art

Clair Shaw

Arting and Framing

Hi, my name’s Clair. Quality Control Specialist for Frame USA by day, Artist by night. Clair Shaw

If you’re like me, you love art. You love books stores, pop-up art shows, old classic movies and home remodeling TV shows. Most importantly you love creating and decorating your home/work space with the images you love. Be it posters, reproduction, original art, or family photos. You surround yourself with what makes you happy; with what makes you, uniquely you.

If that sounds about right then you might agree that there is no better feeling in the world than finishing or buying a piece of art that you love. However, there’s no worse feeling than the one that usually follows when you ask yourself, “how am I going to hanging this?” and quickly realize your spending is not over.

Perhaps like me you’ve tried to cut corners when it comes to framing. Let’s be honest, Framing can be expensive. So, you own several bulging portfolios and enough cardboard tubes to build the world’s largest telescope. I mean, it’s not enough that we as artists and art coinsures have to spend money to make art and acquire art, but we must also spend money if we plan at all to enjoy it.


If there is one thing I’ve learned in all my years of arting and framing, whether you’re selling or buying there’s simply no arguing the effectiveness of a fantastic framing Job. I see it all the time in our Custom framing shop. Customers bring in old sentimental images probably worth nothing more than something you could find at a yard sale. But, because it’s special to them, they invest, and the final product is always breathtaking. Just imagine the effect quality framing has on something truly unique and timeless. It’s magical. Just ask our Raving fans!

I promise, nothing will enhance the appeal of your artwork, whatever it is, more than a beautiful frame. And let’s face it, appeal is essential if you ever want to be a professional artist, impress your in laws, or get that promotion you’ve been working so hard for.

That’s why we at frame USA pride ourselves in not only the quality of our frames, which I personally see to on a daily basis, but the affordability of our picture frames. Each woods frame at frame USA is cut, joined, filled, and hand quality checked right here in our American home base facility ensuring not only quality and affordability, (like I’ve mentioned) But also that your money stays here in our wonderful U.S. of A.

We know the importance of arting and framing and the impact it has logistically and visually in your homes, offices, studios and galleries. Let us be the ones to make your art something really special; something that demands to be noticed. It’s what we do best.

Beth Kuhnell

What I frame in my Home: Beth Kuhnell Posterservice Licensing

I think it’s a fair question to ask what an employee of a great frame and poster company would choose to hang on the walls of their own home, I mean we are the experts, right? (Fun fact: We are!) Of course, what attracted me to this company in the first place was my love for art, so of course I also enjoy decorating my own apartment. I would like to share what I’ve chosen to frame on my own walls, whether it came from Frame USA and Posterservice, (which have obviously been great enablers in terms of what I choose hang up), photos of my own, or even my own artwork.

It’s tough to choose the favorite thing I have up, but ultimately I would have to pick my wedding photos, (Okay, so maybe it’s not that tough) which I had framed at our retail store earlier this year. They came out amazing and I get compliments on these all the time.

My Wedding Photos
My Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos 2 Wedding Photos 3

Above our fireplace (slash beer shrine) I have a copy of a Cincinnati skyline print that we gave away to customers and employees here at Frame USA to celebrate our retail store grand re-opening back in 2013. Besides being a stunning shot of my home city, this image is also pretty special to me personally, as I was the one

Over the Mantle
Over the Mantle

who communicated with the artist Keith Allen to get him on board from the project. Below the mantle you’ll also notice the license plate from my last car, which sadly was totaled last year (RIP Car), luckily I came out of that fine, but decided to keep a little memento, because why not?

Speaking of beer… here is the arrangement we have behind our couch in the living room. (Noticing a theme?). My husband and I really love the craft beer theme, and even homebrew our own beer.

Beer Posters
Beer Posters

I also don’t mind framing some of my own artwork, including one of my pieces from my senior thesis project

at UC – DAAP. This piece, “Fibers” is illustrated on stained wood!


Another drawing of mine is hanging in our computer room, and sports a wicked awesome wood picture frame courtesy of the Frame USA custom framing team.

This isn’t technically on a wall, but on the door to our bedroom. I cut this Legend of Zelda logo out of contact paper and placed it on the door. I really enjoy creating unique wall art like this.

Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda

The next one I guess you could call a combination of my own artwork, and a Frame USA/Posterservice project. I designed this ‘Shots!’ poster for the Posterservice line in 2014, since then it has taken off and can even be found in Spencer Gifts stores throughout the nation! So naturally I had to have a copy of my own.


While that is not everything I have on my walls, those are for sure some of my favorites! (And some of them would not be there had I not started my career at this company.) I think the


best rule to follow when choosing what to put on your walls is, have FUN!

Portrait of Hong Kong


In today’s blog we’re going to spotlight an artist that we at Frame USA/Posterservice have had the pleasure of working with: Marc Allante. His print “Achilles” is one of our most popular posters and anytime we get new art from him we’re always pleased and excited.

Marc was born in Hong Kong and is currently based there where he is represented by the Avenue Des Arts gallery. He has lived in Sydney and London as well and it’s this blend of eastern and western cultures that informs his unique vision.

A self taught artist, Marc creates his images by combining traditional Chinese inks with European watercolor and pen techniques. He has a distinct style, often incorporating a paint drip and spatter look. His subject matter is varied with animals and architecture comprising much of his most striking work. In particular he has a way of capturing the energy and joy of birds in flight. He also incorporates silhouettes to create romantic imagery like his popular “Two Step.” 

He’s a versatile artist whose voice continues to change and develop in new and unexpected directions. Check him out at his website Marcallante.com to see his full portfolio and where he will be exhibiting. While you’re at it, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@marcallanteart) .You can also come over to Posterservice.com and search “Marc Allante” or go to our Art Posters section to see the 24×36 posters we currently carry. If you are looking for art to put in picture framds that encompass beauty, color and joy, you’ve found it in Marc’s work.

Portrait of Hong Kong
Portrait of Hong Kong
Marc Allante's Two Step
Two Step

Frame USA Employees—Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

Last week on Favorite Hobby Friday I talked with our favorite monster drawing customer service rep, Kelley Kombrinck. This week I bring you the Favorite Hobby of our Posterservice Sales rep, David Estep.

David, tell us about your favorite hobby.

My favorite hobby is creating art.

  Favorite Hobby_David Estep 1

Your position here makes a lot of sense knowing that; when did you first start creating it?

I have been creating art for as long as I can remember!

So then you must have a pretty neat story behind how you got started, tell our readers all about it. 

I spent my younger years creating art much like every other kid until father gave me a quill pen and ink set that was my Grandfathers. To a young kid it was ancient but it was so cool at the same time. I was fascinated with the result of the ink on paper and spent years working with nothing but. Fast forward to Art School where I studied advertising design and worked a lot with markers creating mark ups. I fell in love with the bright colors of the markers and they now are a part of everything I create.

I was right, that was a pretty unique story, so how long did it take you to become a master at it?

It took me about a year to develop my own unique style before I was happy with the direction it was going. I was influenced by a wide range of sources—fine artists such as Picasso, and Matisse, more contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, psychedelic artists Alex Gray and Ed Paschke and of course comic books. 


So now that you have your style developed, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your artwork?

I work on an art project, usually a few at time, almost every day.

Favorite Hobby_David3

So since you do it every day you must have a favorite part, what is it?

Everything from the conceptual to completion. There’s something really cool about each step.

If every part of the process is your favorite, do you even have a least favorite part?

I am not void of having an artist’s block, so when it comes on it can be very frustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to translate my thoughts into images.

Artist’s block is awful, what is some advice for our readers that may want to start creating art?

I truly believe we are all artists, everyone has the ability to create something that expresses a feeling or a thought they may have. So, I say go for it, don’t be afraid of the outcome. Create for yourself first, and the number one idea, enjoy yourself.

So taking your advice, tell us about the most memorable experience with your art.

I have been accepted into a few art shows that are very jury heavy such as Summerfair and the Hyde Park Art Show. I was interviewed in the Citybeat publication and on Channel 9 morning news to promote the 2004 Hyde Park Art Show. It’s really nice to be recognized for my work.

I would say those both would be unforgettable moments; what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering art?

There is a release for the voices in my head, my art. Kidding aside, there is some truth to this. I find I have all these artistic ideas and they really start to cry to get out which I feel I must address. Once out, I can move on the next voice/idea.

Art is such a great outlet for working through things! 

Thanks so much David for taking the time to tell our readers about your favorite hobby! 

Favorite Hobby Friday continues next week as Frame USA‘s CEO, Daniel Regenold, tells all about his favorite hobby!


Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

From what we have heard from our subscribers, last week’s Favorite Hobby Friday was a huge hit! This week we bring you the favorite hobby of one of our customer service representatives, that many of our customers who have purchased picture frames from us may have spoken with, Kelley Kombrinck.

I sat down with Kelley to discuss his favorite hobby and the talent that was first displayed here.

Kelley, we first experienced your talent when you drew a Unicorn and an elephant on a customer’s order, why don’t tell me a bit more about your hobby!

I’m a guy who likes to draw. Mainly charcoal or pencil/pen and ink on paper. Most of my work is done by hand but I’ve begun using digital media—i.e. Photoshop—to color my pictures. My genre of choice is horror art—ghosts and monsters and such—and my style is mainly comic book/fantasy, but I can still bust out a pretty accurate portrait if I need to.

  KelleyK- Hobby 1

Judging by your level of skill you’ve probably been drawing for a pretty long time; When did you first start?

I have been drawing as far back as I can remember, and it was always monsters, always.

So why did you start drawing monsters at such an early age?

As a kid I just drew because I wanted to be like my older brother who also drew really well. As I got older and realized I was good at it I started drawing to break the ice with the people who sat around me in school because I was kind of weird and awkward and it helped to get people on my side right off the bat.

Most creative people are a little weird, so you’re not alone in that— how long has it taken you to become a master at it?

Like most artists, I’m still mastering it and continue to develop and learn. I will say that I really kicked it into high gear in my early twenties when I started incorporating more realistic human anatomy and working harder to understand light and shadow.


The level of detail in all of your pieces is outstanding, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend drawing?

It depends on the week. Some weeks I don’t draw at all. Other weeks I might put 22 hours in. When I’m working on a hot project I’ll get lost in it.

Kelley frequently brings in his drawing pad in to the office and work on his craft during his lunch hour—that’s dedication!

22 hours, that’s a long time, you must really enjoy it—what’s your favorite part about it?

For me, there’s a moment where a picture is not quite finished, but where I’ve gotten all the main elements penciled in and they look how I want them to look—the picture still has a way to go and there’s a lot of cleanup and smaller details to add — but I see the most important parts and they are staring back at me as if they just stepped through a door out of my imagination. I go on and finish the picture and its great and everything but it’s that moment halfway through that is my favorite.

Wow, that was really poetic, with how you talk about drawing it’s hard to imagine that this question would apply to you but, none the less, what’s your least favorite part about it?

Oh lord it’s when I get a picture to a great place and then I go one step further and it hurts the picture. Sometimes it’s just something that bothers me and no one else really notices but I’ve occasionally ruined a drawing that I’ve put a lot of time and work into by just not letting it rest when it was done. I also hate when I go to ink my pencil drawing and I make a mistake—ink does not forgive.

Like most artists you appear to be your own worst critic! What has been the most memorable experience?

I’ve had several. One of the most memorable was having my work displayed in a black-room art show at a specialty shop back in 2001. My first— and last — exhibition. I drank all the wine and left early with a headache but I did sell one piece.

Sounds like a successful night to me! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through drawing?

I’ve learned that I can really take a critique without getting my feelings too hurt and turn it into development. People are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong and sometimes it’s just to be snarky but if I can pull something useful out of it and improve my technique then I’m all for it. Some of my biggest jumps in growth have come out of brutally stated critiques.

That is a great ability to have as an artist— what is your advice for people who may want to start drawing?

I think that if you want to start doing it, you probably already are but if you’re wanting to take it to a level where you want to show or sell your art remember this: your style and subject matter is your own, do what you want, but when your technique gets criticized, listen with an open mind. Even if the critic is a jerk, they might be right.  

I think that is something we could all use, even those that aren’t artisticbe yourself and stand up for what you believe in!

Thanks so much Kelley for taking the time to answer my questions!

I hope you have enjoyed Favorite Hobby Friday so far! Stay tuned next week for our Posterservice Sales Rep David Estep’s favorite hobby!



Here at Frame USA, we love our customers!  We may be in the picture frame business, but our main mission is creating Raving Fans. While we want to help make you a Raving Fan, we love to rave about our customers as well.  We first started working with Creative Notions and THE PAINTSTRO!®  back in 2007. We worked hard to find them the perfect frame to help their vision take off.  Once we finalized the picture frame for them, the rest has taken off.

Matt, the owner, describes THE PAINTSTRO!® as “an innovative group art kit. Inside our kits, you will find wonderful art materials and an audio CD, but YOU will provide the most important piece: THE PEOPLE.  THE PAINTSTRO!® is all about creating a shared art experience in which unique individuals come together to create a united work of art. By using our interactive audio CD, you and THE PAINTSTRO!®  will guide your group to the unveiling of a SURPRISE MASTERPIECE!”

THE PAINTSTRO!®  is great for all types of groups and outings: Youth Organizations & Camps, Town Senior Centers, Corporate Team-Building Events, and much more!  To find out more about THE PAINTSTRO!®, please visit:

Product Info on Webhttp://www.creativenotionsonline.com/collections/the-paintstro

Web Site: ThePaintstro.com

There is also a great informational video really displaying everything THE PAINTSTRO!® is about at:



We’d love to help your business venture take off as well.  Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or fill out our Custom Quote form at: http://www.frameusa.com/blog/custom-quote/ TODAY!  Our team of picture frame experts is here to find the perfect frame for your next project and venture.


by Frame USA

5 Questions from Artists who need Frames

How do you frame a canvas? Can you frame an oil painting? These common questions and more are answered in this week’s top 5 questions!


1. What looks best with black and white photographs?

This is a question we receive quite often, and one that’s best discovered with a good amount of experimentation. In the end, the answer will vary based on how much of a value scale your image has. If it’s darker, you may want a lighter frame to showcase the darks. If there’s more white space, a black picture frame will make the piece more visually striking. A good in-between is silver, particularly our Vernona Wide (or narrow if you prefer) Tarnished Silver. In fact, we recently used this to frame a custom order for one of our contest winners. He loved it, as did his family and friends:

customer Photo


2. What frame pairs well with black and white drawing / pen and ink?

A good pairing for black and white art does fall under the same advice as photography, however, an art piece can generally be seen as more striking in a standard black frame. Pen and ink can really be framed in any color, though, depending on the theme of your work. For instance, a simple drawing of the ocean or rain storm could look perfect in a frame with blue hues (Clean Cute for instance.) Another idea is to go with a more textured frame like Carbon Fiber if your piece is a bit more cacophonous.

3. What frames are used for canvas displays?

Our best frames for the job include Floater Frames and our In-Depth series. Floater is one of our most recent art frames – made specifically for the purpose of displaying canvas artwork. You can see how these frames look in action below:



4. How do you frame an oil painting?

As with the above response, Most paintings and canvas work will fit best inside of a Floater or In-Depth picture frame. These are our deepest frames and offer the best look for those times you want your painting inside of a frame. Glass is not included with a Floater frame if you’re buying from us, but that’s a fairly standard method of display within the art industry.

5. Which picture frame material is right for me?

Finally, another question we hear often is “Which frame is right for me?” It’s an understandable question when you see how many we have! Wood, metal, shadow box, poster frames, acryllic easels… The honest answer is, you have to find out on your own! Learn whether the room you are presenting in will have a lot of glare, or if that’s even a concern of yours. Know whether or not real wood or eco-friendly wood is important to you. There are plenty of options to choose from most of those choices are situational. Have a look at our past blog posts on choosing the right frame. Our YouTube channel can also help!

What are some questions you’ve had about framing? Leave a comment below!





Update: Brandi and Jarrod on Posterservice’s “Beer” Poster

“It’s a bear. And a deer. It’s Beer.”

For those who followed our previous post, A&E managed to separate the clip from Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job that involved our Beer poster.

In the clip, Jarrod was tasked with making a bar area / game room for his family that met everyone’s needs – the needs of his kids, his wife, their friends… And of course, his own. We think he did an excellent job, and the Beer poster worked perfectly in that setting.

You can see the clip below – be sure to let us know what you think!



Traditional Art vs. Digital Art

There has long been a debate on which medium and method is best for art creation. Even at Frame USA, our artists have vastly differing opinions on whether digital art is as effective as traditional, or if traditional is as well-worth the time as digital. In the end though, we all respect one another’s opinions and talents in their own medium, but this debate has spanned internet-wide among artists since as early as the first years of deviantART’s existance.



So why talk about it if artists have generally concluded that art is art, no matter the medium? Well, there are also some distinct differences when it comes to the display of the art. (Not to mention, both sides will always have strong opinions one way or the other.) Let’s find out how this affects framing!

With traditional art, there are a far greater number of variables to consider before framing your work. If the art is on paper, you’ll have to consider the materials of the art and the paper quality while working on presentation. In digital art, the only real consideration is in how you’ll print or display your piece.

The flip side is in the actual creation of the art – many prefer the precision and “messiness” that traditional media allows, where digital art allows for the correction of mistakes and the ability to make multiple immediate prints whenever you want.

Which do you prefer, and why? Leave a comment below to voice your opinion!


Plaque Mounting: A Look into Wholesale Plaques

Did you know that we offer wood mounting / plaquing services at Frame USA and Posterservice? Check out our video to see the process.

Recently, we’ve had a lot of great plaque customers place orders for a variety of reasons. Some are artists, looking for an affordable way to distribute their work en masse. Some are large companies, trying to find unique ways to spend their advertising budget. Some are graduates who want their diplomas preserved. Whatever the reason, plaque mounting is here to stay as one of our most recommended options for long-term image preservation (unless, of course, your print has great value or needs a more archival touch. In this case, framing is your best bet).

While we will always stand behind picture frames and their ability to preserve an image (particularly when the frame compliments the art so well), there is something to be said about wood-mounted plaques. A plaqued image shows the art in its entirety, without the distraction of an outside border. Also, since the print is laminated flat against the wood, there is virtually no chance that the inside image will warp or crease over time, which may happen in a frame if not sized correctly.

To learn more about wholesale plaques and the plaque mounting process, check out the video below!

You can also find more information about this service here.