Art Makes the Difference.

With our downtown Boston clientele growing, we have seen many new construction condominiums with strong daylight, floor to ceiling window panes, and fairly neutral design choices. These spaces provide a natural backdrop for a POP of dramatic color (like these primary palettes like royal blue and blood red below).

Our clients in the city tend toward more contemporary abstract oil paintings, with a long horizontal shape to compliment furniture (like a bed or couch). Fortunately, Rob and Renate have just the solution to this creative challenge.

Renjeau represents many artists, but two in particular have a series of work that fits perfectly into these hyper-modern spaces. Ursula Brenner and Natasha Barnes paint whimsical, colorful, horizontal works that bring a feeling of play, adventure, and sophistication into these elegant luxury condos. The monochrome decor of beige, cream, white, black, or gray is enlivened by the artwork — allowing for focused conversation pieces and a splash of stark color.

We welcome more clients with Boston city views and contemporary homes with the architectural and decorative “blank canvas” to challenge our artists to produce the complex and colorful compositions that excite your guests and spark conversation on the intangible interpretations of abstraction! Art makes all the difference in these Boston luxury condos, could it transform your minimalist decor as well?

 

A client came in with a fantastic love story about her in-laws courtship in connection to a 1950s wooden speed boat, or ‘Chris Craft.’ The young couple’s adventurous spirits came together in nautical bliss on this boat at the dawn of their relationship. They even provided the name “At Last” — inspired by how long it took to finally purchase this large vessel. However, somewhere along the line when the kids got older and the father could no longer afford and manage it, the boat was sold. The couple’s son, many years later, wants to surprise them by finding and restoring the ship.

Researching original bills of sale and names of potential provenance, and posting tirelessly on boat blogs, forums, and Craigslist, the couple’s adult son (our client’s husband) got the attention of the antique boating community. Finally, a response came.

Someone had the boat. It had been stored under a tarp in their back yard for 40 years. The son finally found and retrieved the old ship — now without the original motor and in faded disrepair.

Their son, who searched for years for this motor boat, is now taking on the total refurbishment of the antique. The restoration of the Chris Craft will be a surprise for the couple at their 60th wedding anniversary in 2019.

Our simple, archival custom framing of this article in ‘The Brass Bell’ Magazine featuring the story was a Christmas gift to the son from his wife. The black frame with black mat offer a neutral background for the pages and old family photographs to pop. This story will be passed down to generations and the labors of the son to reunite his parents with the boat of their early romance will be behind UV glass for all to see! We were so thrilled to play a part in the custom framing of their memories, and look forward to hearing the happy ending.

 

A contemporary condo in Boston with bright colorful furniture and modern decor had a blank white wall in need of a statement piece. We attempted to match the coloring of the couch and abstract rug with rust, red, and gray. A loose, geometric abstract oil painting by artist Ursula Brenner was the perfect fit!

 
The gray column, light silver in the rug and side tables, and bold accent color all made the artwork feel as though it were custom to the space. A silver floater frame rounded out the look for a cool, urban feel for this Boston home.

With simple symmetry and classical architectural touches, this Concord home provides many nooks and crannies for paintings. Complimenting the built-in shelving and custom marble fireplaces, the artwork has traditional esteem with a touch of old-world spirit.

Corn colored waves of grass in the meadow scene placed below the geometric black iron Juliet balcony splashes energy into the neutral nature into the family room. The gold-leaf frame adds a dash of regal flair — which converses well with the classical Tuscan order columns in stark white paint that send the eye upwards towards sweeping ceilings.

After completing this more formal social space, we sought a sporty and nautical work of art for the more intimate mood of the den…

Nestled above the mantle amidst equine trophies, silver candlesticks, and antique china, the above painting of boats afloat in the harbor bring a relaxed, tranquil blue to the room. Blue sky, fluffy clouds, and reflective water bring a natural feel to the the painting, contrasting the straight and narrow masts of wooden ships.

The traditional gold frame and well-placed picture light shining above finish the client’s look to meld perfectly with the leather-bound books and cozy impression of the lower ceiling in this study. Comfortable, yet refined, this space called for a painting of distinguished artistry and gilded framing — with an evocation of old sporting fun. Mission accomplished!

Upon arriving in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, we were hit with the salty fresh ocean breeze and welcomed into our client’s spacious, light, airy home. The neutral gray and white of the walls were a perfect backdrop for two bright colorful Robert Bolster paintings. The realism of Bolster’s nautical ship oil on canvas paintings are a traditional touch to this blank canvas of transitional decor! The reflective ripples and sturdy masts provide foundation and personal flair to this family’s Manchester abode.

What do you think of honoring the sea-faring history and coastal environment of the town with Robert Bolster boats setting sail in Manchester? We see only smooth sailing ahead for refined comfort and beach-front bliss!

The architectural splendor of this Westwood client’s home is captivating. A well-constructed house isn’t a home until the family brings their personality and unique taste to the space. How can wood, walls, paint, and furniture express a mood or color indicative of the heart of a family?

 

Upon entering the space, the Renjeau team saw potential for a colorful, square, abstract painting for the wall above the love seat. Despite the sweeping ceilings and long banister drawing the eyes upwards, the original oil on canvas by Helen Zarin floats intimately above the furniture bringing the scale down to earth for a comfortable, casual impression. Entitled Sea Dreams, the painting alludes to a calm, nautical horizon. The painting is distinctly abstract and very contemporary.

The floater frame around the art gives a finished, elegant feel, while allowing negative space for the painting to breath. This simplicity intentionally balances more formal, traditional details — such as the oriental carpet, classic wood moldings, and pristine furniture. The neutral decor allows for an overall minimalist intention, while strong red and yellow accents brighten and warm.

 

With a curving stairwell leading to the living quarters in view, our Westwood client enjoys the Great Room as a transitional, comfortable space between the kitchen and the rest of the home. The family’s personal items are positioned on built-in shelves, allowing guests to feel welcome, curious, and participatory in the daily life of the residents. The Zarin painting blends with the simple, yet sophisticated architecture and simple, fresh decor to escalate the experience in the room from good — to Great!

 

Many new construction homes are made with sweepingly high ceilings, with a grand foyer staircase making the wall two stories high. We often approach a search for artwork to fill this space with a tall, vertical — at least 50″- 70″ in height. With this particular home, we found the customer was comfortable with more a contemporary style, with the subject matter instantly recognizable.

Our experienced Renjeau Galleries art consultants suggested an avant-garde “pop art” portrait of Marilyn Monroe. The overall impression of the figure is striking from the front door entry. As visitors move closer to the painting, they see small bustling humans that compose Marilyn’s face. Quite a conversation piece!

Though an understated black and white, minimalist oil painting with mostly negative space and a simple floater frame — the large scale, the timeless Hollywood starlet, and the vertical orientation create a sophisticated, jaw-dropping effect upon the threshold of the client’s home. The delivery and installation of the over-sized 64″x52″ painting was a success — despite the altitude!

See more of Craig Alan’s optical illusion paintings, complete with optical illusions and famous faces at his artist page at www.renjeau.com!

With geometric patterns and classic New England details, this traditional space needed a painting with familiar subject matter, and a stylistic twist. The loose contemporary style of Josef Kote has bouncing light, dynamic paint strokes, bright primary colors, and a wild mood. With the yellow beige of the couch and chairs, and soft periwinkle in the accent pillows, this room called for the birch painting hanging between built-in book shelves.

The clients felt the peaceful nature of the room was complimented by beloved birch trees, while the primary red paint brought a daring edge pulling out the cherry tones of the hardwood floor. Once the overhead lights were flipped on, the room had sophisticated charm with an adventurous fine art focal point!

Up in the mountains of New Hampshire, our clients find respite from a long day out on the cold ski slopes with the warm autumnal colors of this contemporary Koehn forest landscape above their stone fireplace.

The oranges and reds pop on the more neutral, cooler tones of the stone. It brings contrast, life, and a sense of place to this woodsy retreat.

Lighting is key for accentuating a larger, metallic painting. The darker colors really stand out on the vertical white wall, while accenting the surrounding rustic chic decor. This geometric abstract in rust and gray brings an urban contemporary vibe to a mountain environment.

Even in more transitional spaces, like a doorway or stairwell, the placement of compelling artwork proves vital. The softer abstract below creates fluid movement on the landing, where the painting can be seen from the floor below, or right up close. With abstract work, the viewer can often see new and changing subject matter, depending on the vantage point.

The natural tranquility of organic forms of flora and fauna elements in the below copper paintings contributes to the rustic home. The art compliments the silver antlers with its whimsical forest inspired subject matter. A warm retreat from the snows of New Hampshire!

 

Finding success with an abstract Ursula Brenner painting in our client’s Ipswich dining room (below), we tried to provide a splash of excitement to another neutral-toned spot above their living room couch.

 

Brenner

 

The clients wanted a little punch of color. After a visit to our Natick gallery to browse some options, and we hit the road north with paintings in tow! This bright red abstract was our first attempt, as they had really loved the POP of red. However…

 

Ipswitch No Go (2) web

 

It was a no go.

Once surrounded by soft, tranquil, and traditional furniture and decor, the red felt too harsh. So we placed another in the space with cooler blue and green tones, with a little warm brown and gold to pick up the glow of the lamps and floor. Instead of abstract, this new choice had a calming, contemporary impressionistic style. It was a subtle floral meadow landscape, with a blue sky that mirrored the bright light coming in their many windows.

 

Ipswitch (4) copy web

 

It was just what the space called for!

We framed it in a floater frame to keep it light, elegant, and not too traditional (below). The clients were thrilled. We felt this large oil on canvas by Timothy O’Toole brought that little pop of color they wanted, while transporting them to a peaceful field of flowers.

Ipswitch (2) copy

A cool, sophisticated horizon view for our friends in Northeast Mass!

When framing a fine print, photograph, document, or work on paper, confusion arises over which type of glass to use. Indeed there are a dizzying array of choices and brand names available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully this entry helps to “clear” things up!

What is your goal?

Essentially the choices can be boiled down into 3 categories depending on your primary goal:

Price, Protection, or Reflection Control

1) If your main goal is to keep the price down, then opt for regular glass. It’s inexpensive, however will retain some glare and has minimal UV protection. It’s what you see most often on inexpensive prints and posters, where some fading over the long term is not a concern.

2) If you have a valuable piece of art (monetary or sentimental) which you want to protect from fading, then use UV glass. It is not terribly expensive, and it protects the artwork from ultraviolet rays. Keep in mind that it still should not be hung in DIRECT sunlight.

3) If your main goal is to reduce or eliminate reflection and glare, as well as preserving your art,  then Museum Glass is a great choice. It greatly reduces glare while simultaneously protecting your artwork.

What is Museum Glass?

You may recall the milky, fuzzy, opaque look of the old “non-glare” glass on photos and artwork of the past. When viewing the artwork from an angle, everything looked distorted, and the colors in the artwork that you loved became dull by comparison. People often say to us “Oh I don’t want non-glare glass….It looks cloudy.”

Well, Museum Glass has changed the way people think about non-glare glass. It is made with a special protective (and virtually invisible) optical UV coating that allows less than 1% light reflection while color is transmitted accurately.

Additionally, Museum Glass  effectively blocks up to 97-99% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays, preserving your artwork and preventing it from fading over time.

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Samples in our gallery display the differences (left to right) between regular glass, museum glass, and old non-glare. Can you see the difference? Yes…the middle panel has glass!

Protection Comes at a Price

Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides:

1) At roughly 5 times the cost of regular glass, museum glass can get expensive (especially for larger pieces). For this reason, we generally only suggest using it in areas where glare will be a significant problem (when there is a light source like a window directly across from where the artwork will hang). If glare is not a problem, regular UV-glass will work just fine to preserve your art.

2) Additionally, the optical coating it is very susceptible to finger prints and scratching, which means it must be handled and cleaned carefully. We use special gloves when handling it, and we instruct people to only to spot clean when necessary with a soft cotton cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Generally it will not need to be cleaned once it leaves our frame shop. But in the event it gets a fingerprint on it, follow the instructions below.

To Spot Clean Museum Glass

1) Dip the end of a cotton-swap in a bit of isopropyl alcohol.

2) Very lightly rub the spot using small circular motions. (don’t press too hard)

3) Allow to air dry.

We also will provide free cleaning for life on any piece that was framed in our shop.

 

The Question

Many of our painting restorations involve the cleaning of a dirty canvas, patching of a hole, or fixing cracked or chipped paint.  Usually our clients want a piece restored for sentimental or aesthetic reasons. Sometimes paintings have a significant monetary value as well, which poses a question:

Will restoring a painting reduce its value?
(more…)

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