My very own Gallery

My very own Gallery

Hello there!
Thank you for stopping by.
It’s Tuesday, which is when we roll back the hours,
so let’s go back a few paces….
Remember when I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago that I was planning to open a gallery?

It was rather tongue in cheek of course, and touched on the nerve that I have never framed or hung a piece of my own artwork up.
You will recall, we were talking about confidence and self-criticism; I have an -ology in the latter!

If you recollect, I trotted off to the local framers here in Crowborough – Jayne and Kester do a grand job – with a handful of pieces of art I have done recently for blogs or telly or whatever.
Well Jayne and I spent yesterday evening hanging the framed artwork. And I must tell you:
I am astounded by how P for Professional the framed pieces look!

The difference between a greeting card and an art statement.

The picture is elevated. Not only does it look classier,
it also just increased substantially in value!

Here’s one which I nearly threw away, because the tree went wonky on me. Add a matching mount, and bingo!

We card makers make cards all day long – mini masterpieces.
I made this one for Dave’s Birthday!

So you take the card to a frameshop, select a complimentary mount board and moulding, and let the professionals do the job. Suddenly, boom!
A card becomes an original acrylic print.

If you sell your cards, maybe you should think about this.

And if the cost of the frame is prohibitive, then go to a secondhand shop with frames in mind. 

And if you feel adventurous – or your partner wants to help – invest in the framing kit. I still have my miter box and mount board cutter. The thing I don’t have is time.

Even a simple piece of random stencil work turns into 
a very professional gallery piece!

See how the mount board and the moulding elevate the artwork?
I’ve got dozens of Gelli Plate pieces like this one!

I cannot believe the difference. 
The artwork looks so P for Professional!

I even had a random acrylic copy paper print framed – 
just because I liked it.

So here is the start of what may become the most decorated house in Britain! Typical Gray. Goes from having NONE of her art on the walls, to plastering them with it!!!

We even had a ribbon cutting moment and a round of applause!

There’s a long way to go, and it may take years, but as Confucious wisely say:
the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step….

So what am I trying to convey here? Not that I just went mad, although one might seriously wonder…

No, no, no. Let’s talk turkey.
P for Pricing always an issue…
If you make greeting cards to sell, you probably charge between £2 and £4 for them. If you make packs of 5 notelets, maybe you could get £10 to £15 for them.
So if you mounted and framed a few pieces, apart from elevating the whole look and feel of your display, you stand to make 10 times more on each piece. Wow.

And without giving away all my marketing techniques, here’s an important one: if you have an expensive item or two on display, that higher price will make the lower price seem reasonable. 
We’ve all done it. Picture the scene:
You go into a shop, see a vase. Check the tag. £180 (How much?? a voice in your head screams. You must be kidding!)
You move swiftly on to the next vase. Check the tag (£80) BARGAIN! I’ll have 2!!!! 
and I’ve still saved £20!!

If you were to mount and frame particularly splendid pieces, what do you think you could charge? 
£30? £35? £40? 
or £50? Or £100?
I know you are shaking your heads now, thinking, 
“Yep, she’s lost the plot.” But have I?

Who’s to say what an original piece of artwork is worth?

Depends who you are. 
We all choke on the value of some art we see. You only have to pay a visit to the Tate Modern to get my drift.

Depends where you sell it.
If you have your work in an art gallery in Santa Fé, you could probably put a bigger ticket on it than a Church Hall in Walthamstow. Mind you, the galleries want a huge cut, whereas the Walthamstow Church Hall will be more modest.

Depends what it is and what it says to the buyer.

But mostly, it all hinges on owning your art.
If we don’t have the nerve to even hang it on our hallway walls and celebrate our creativity,
what are the chances of ever convincing anybody else to!!

much love,

80 thoughts on “My very own Gallery

  1. These mini works of art look fantastic. My son lives in a converted barn and has just painted the wall going up the stairs dark blue and has absolutely covered it in family pictures and cheap random prints bought from second hand shops it looks amazing. I think I will try a geli plate one to add to his collection!

  2. Hi Barb,
    I can't believe the difference when your cards etc are mounted and framed – they are stunning, and as you say ,true pieces of Art. They are fabulous! I'm really pleased to see that you got the calla lilies that you zentangled framed because that was fabulous. Your gallery will be fantastic when completed and just think " It's all my own work!" – how proud you will be! Well done, love Alison xx

  3. Brilliant and certainly food for thought. Your framed work looks really good and it is a chance to show off some of the artwork that would otherwise lie somewhere unseen. I have lots of cross stitched pieces that I had framed and hang in my home but had never thought of framing some of my cards. I'm loving playing with the gelli plate too. 🙂

  4. WOW!! Well done, Barbara, for having the confidence to do what so many of us only dream of! I know that there are one or two cards I've made that I have been particularly proud of, but never thought others would really see them as 'art'!! Maybe you have just given me that push…. 🙂 thank you! x

  5. It is amazing what a frame does to a piece of work. I discovered that withthe cross stitches I used to do. A small 2 inch square picture that looks insignificant all of a sudden looks impressive in a 6 or 8 inch frame with matching board.
    Your gallery looks amazing and I wish you joy as you continue to fill it.

  6. Barbara, I just love your NEW artwork. I have put some of my efforts up near the guest bathroom, nothing like yours, but projects that I have done over the years and with techniques that I am still practising. Your efforts should be seen, even if it is just for somewhere to put them rather than gathering dust in drawers or boxes. Who sees them there!!! They can always be moved around as new projects arrive. But Ladies please show off, even if it only makes the hubby smile. Valerie

  7. It's amazing how framing has completely transformed your artwork Barbara. Really impressive pieces. I'm sure – if you had the time – you could be selling pieces like that in a real gallery.
    Walthamstow – now that's a blast from my childhood. Haven't thought about that place in years.
    Beryl xx

  8. Fabulous Barbara, congratulations on the opening of your gallery and I hope many people visit and appreciate your work. It's certainly gave me something to think about , a framed Scotland picture would be nice on our stall at the Scotland shop especially for the American tourists. Xx

  9. Your artwork looked amazing before framing, but the framing really finishes all the pieces off nicely. I know when I have framed my cross stitch projects in the last, to give them as presents, the framing makes such a difference to the finished look. I love the ribbon cutting moment too! x

  10. Ms Gray the artist! Wow how good your artwork looks framed and hanging on the wall, well done you. Enjoy your gallery, I'm sure those who are lucky enough to see them will appreciate them enormously. Joan x

  11. Your work looks fabulous professionally mounted and framed, what a lovely gallery! Reading your words it is plain to see why you have made such a success of Clarity, apart from lots of hard work you also have such a good business head. Pat x

  12. Wow Barbara they look great mounted and hug years ago I did pictures in decoupage and they ways looked great when finished I still have a few I will send you a photo of them see what you think I have made mistakes in my blogging to day my hands are awful to day sorry you know when we were talking about the tits well for the first time in 15years the blue tits are in my nesting box. Yes !!!!!! Love always June xxxxx

  13. Your post touched a nerve, I have no confidence in my work. I seem unable to see what others see, but a week ago I was fortunate to have a piece of my work displayed in an exhibition. I felt very proud to see it in the case, beautifully displayed. Your work and blog are always inspirational, can't wait for the next instalment.

  14. I bet your framer was pleased to see you, Barbara – your fledgling gallery is looking great, and there is obviously a lot more room to add to it. Don't forget that to really elevate your artwork, you should sign and date it! Since what you have is already framed, you could still sign and date the back.

    I tell my quilting students exactly the same thing — a quilt is not finished until it has a label on the back.

  15. I just like your Gallery – and it is realy astonishing what a difference a Frame makes ! Well, I also will take two, when it saves me some Money LOL – have a nice day LOve

  16. Taaaaaaaa daaaaaaa I thought to myself as read you had cut your ribbon it made me smile stunning is your art work now wow how beautiful your gallery looks I might just try putting one of mine in a frame just for me to gaze upon xxx

  17. I enjoyed looking at your Gallery. The simple frame really makes a staggering difference to the artwork. I have had several pieces of my needlework professionally framed but I'll never be brave or confident enough in my own artwork to have any it framed ever. The Gelly plate artwork is beautiful.

  18. Thanks for the invitation to the grand opening, red ribbon and all. The art work is lovely framed and the idea is of course priceless. Enjoy the gallery.

  19. It's amazing how going from card to picture changes perception, hand made to work of art with just a frame. I love them, especially the wonky tree. Thanks for giving us all a boost and reminding us that we are all artists, it's just our delivery method that's different.

  20. I totally agree with what you say Barbara. I No longer sell a lot of cards (having moved and trying to re-establish myself) But I still do a modest income from them. But what you say about framing your work is SPOT ON. I go around second hand shops picking up frames (some of the older ones just have more detail). I tart them up a bit – get the sanding paper out – put in new mount board and frame my canvases. I recently sold a piece for £30.00…I made a good profit on it. I was more than chuffed as it is now in the possession of the artist PETER MANN and he wants to come visit me to see how I have achieved what I did. So not only a fair sale but the possibility of more exposure! So ladies what's stopping you? My new mantra is…if you don't ask you don't get and if you don't try well!!! Give it a go especially if you are doing art work with Clarity Stamps, they just make the work so much easier and cleaner to achieve. Hugs to all and good luck. xxxxx

  21. Well congratulations, and thank you for sharing the unveiling with us all – not often you get invited to the gallery opening of a famous artist!!! My other half is a photographer, so I don't get much wall space in our house, but maybe I could sneak a few gelli prints into the mix when he's not looking… Susan x

  22. I love your artwork anyway, but they look fantastic framed!! It's funny, I persuaded my husband to frame and hang his photography,never thought about my stuff 🙂

  23. Hi Barbara. it's lovely to see some of your fantastic work framed and on show, even if it is only in your own home. How on earth did you choose which pieces to put on show first? That must have been very difficult : ) Take care.

  24. Barbara – my whole house is an art gallery and craft room. My walls are covered with cross-stitch pieces I have done over the years. Anyway to add to your comment, if you are having problems turning your work into a card, frame it – I had problems with this topper ( and so framed it. It was the first piece of non-cross stitch work that I hung on my wall, I have now hung up a canvas I did at a workshop. I might take a picture of my staircase and bring it to Harrogate.

  25. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing such a timely blog. I haven't got any of my work on show, though others have cross stitch pictures that I've made for them. Your artwork looks amazing framed – I'm so pleased you shared the unveiling with us. Time for me to take those steps……xx

  26. I am loving your gallery, it is amazing what a difference piece of mountboard and a good quality frame makes to your artwork. I tend not to keep anything I make as I create things for friends and family including my cross stitch projects. My mum and dad have five of my cross stich projects on display and my partner has two of my cross stitch projects on display. I usually keep a record of everything I make and upload them onto my Pinterest board,

  27. Thank you for sharing your gallery! What an awesome idea to frame your pieces, they look fabulous and so classy! What a wonderful gift it would make to give to someone special too! xx

  28. These pieces all look fantastic framed Barbara, and your thoughts on valuing yourself and what you do are quite true, It is also a fact that something can command a different price according to where and how you market it. We all tend to be a bit reticent about promoting ourselves, but if you have confidence in your own abilities then other people will have confidence in you. You are very good at making us think about things a bit more. Thank you. x

  29. What a difference a frame makes! They were good enough as they were but WOW! I suppose a mat and layer makes a difference with our cards but this is a different altogether. I've had some cross stitch framed and done my own – haven't got enough spare stuff to even think of framing it but one day …….

  30. What an inspirational blog, the artwork as always is fabulous and framed it looks even better. Gave a round of applause when you cut the ribbon lol xxx Hats off to Gray's Gallery well worth a visit xxx

  31. Hi Barbara,

    Lovely work and I am glad to see it all double mounted as it should be. I used to exhibit my Photography work, which is never valued as much as a painting even though its not click and print as some folks would think but I enjoyed exhibiting my work and we did start to get known around certain places in Norfolk. We always had matching frames and they should always be hung with the top of the frames lined up not the bottoms, as for costs, yes you can ask more, it all depends on where you exhibit. Sometimes we found it costly but it was worth it. Good fun.

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  32. Your gallery looks great so keep going now you have started. I know a few people that I have made cards for have kept them and put them in frames which is lovely. I like knowing that people see them as works of art. My dad is an artist and has always hung his paintings on the wall at home, we often tell him to exhibit but I don't think he enjoys the thought of people looking at his work and being critical. I don't think I could do it either, I always give my box of cards for sale to my friend at work who does the selling for me! Just going to sit with a cup of tea and read my latest newsletter, what a treat for a Tuesday evening! Xx

  33. Your gallery looks great so keep going now you have started. I know a few people that I have made cards for have kept them and put them in frames which is lovely. I like knowing that people see them as works of art. My dad is an artist and has always hung his paintings on the wall at home, we often tell him to exhibit but I don't think he enjoys the thought of people looking at his work and being critical. I don't think I could do it either, I always give my box of cards for sale to my friend at work who does the selling for me! Just going to sit with a cup of tea and read my latest newsletter, what a treat for a Tuesday evening! Xx

  34. Hello Barb, how uplifting and inspiring. We are our own worst critics. You have perhaps given me the nerve to frame one of mine and put it on the wall. Maybe I could make a big one? I would love to see yours in real life. What a treat! The framing does make a difference to the overall effect. So what sort of ribbon did you use 🙂 Well done Barb, keep that insight into life coming, it makes us all believe. Bx

  35. Well done, your works of art look fantastic. You should definitely be proud of them. Like many others I have framed some cross stich pieces, also when clearing my parents house last year I found several cards that my daughter had done and intend to frame them. I need to improve my stamping before I frame any of those pieces. Maybe one day. Waiting for my husband to take up painting again maybe a joint gallery then. Love your Tuesday blog Lynne xx

  36. Barbara, your work looks fantastic on the wall. Well done for overcoming the hurdle – keep on going and plaster those walls with your wonderful work. You are so lucky to live in a house that provides such a wonderful backdrop. Love your marketing strategies! Jean.x

  37. congratulations Barbara, your gallery looks amazing. You have given me lots to think about as I struggle to sell cards, mainly because people don't want to pay when they can buy one for 99p in the supermarket. Framed artwork however is different…time to diversify xx

  38. Thank you Barbara for inviting us to the opening of your gallery. Your work always looks amazing but mounting takes it to a higher place!! Well done for making a start. I hope my work will be good enough one day. I need more time to practice!!
    Looking forward to the next part of the exhibition!
    Jan x

  39. Love your gallery, wish I was there for the cutting of the ribbon. Your work is great and looks fab framed. You gave me one of your Gelli plate prints at the NEC and I have that framed in my craft room for inspiration – thank you. Jx

  40. don't they look awesome framed! i think i might give this a try and see were it goes with the prints. they'll make fab pressies too and they will be original as no 2 will be the same. great work …..hugs xx

  41. Love it – I love the beams in your staircase – love the staircase – such a great setting for displaying your art. Hope you cracked open a drink along with the ribbon ceremony! Or at least a decent cuppa xx

  42. Wow what fantastic artwork. Once again another thought provoking blog. I never think my cards as art. I suppose in a small way they are. Not sure they will ever make it to the Tate! Thanks once again Barb.

  43. Even more impressive when framed. I've always fretted that the end result of our lovely and absorbing hobby is…..a greetings card. Seems slightly underwhelming, but displayed as art it's tranformational. The only card of mine I've been tempted to frame was a Christmas card to my husband, using the lovely Clarity deer and some trees. Thanks for sharing your super gallery with us.

  44. How did I miss this, I walked the dog then the day disappeared. You know I honestly don't have anything to frame? I only make what is needed. I suppose my mini Art Gallery is C&C? and your Web Site and my Blog & FB. When these places are your Gallery you only see the nice comments. Maybe I am still trying to work out if I really am an artist. Everything I do that is good feels a bit like a fluke? When I make DT cards I stand them up in my craft room and then I start to loose confidence in them. But I have confidence in them enough to put them on FB and in my Blog? There I am off on one again. You have got me thinking, I love your artwork framed or not framed, but you are right, my 8"by8" cards that I sell would look much better in a frame than an envelope and your Gallery looks great with all the pieces framed.

  45. Clap-Clap-Clap-Clap-Clap!….(That's me giving you a round of applause for your gallery unveiling!) Your work looks fab framed Barbara – you must be very proud of the end results!
    I've been trawling the charity shops for frames that might complement some of the pieces I've done – got some frames, but haven't got round to doing anything with them yet. I think unless you are a crafter yourself, people don't realize the amount of time & effort that goes into some of our creations, this is why we should frame them to keep for ourselves – spot on!!!! Happy crafting Barbara, Carole x

  46. Very well done Barbara. I do a bit of framing, and try to seel them…..Impossible in France. The price of the frame itself is already at least the equivalent of £15, and am not counting, the image, the papers or the time….So keep them for me, or give them to friends for special occasions. Will frame the card you've created for me at the NEC. xx

  47. Love your Gallery Barbara …….. the frames all matching your artwork to a 'P' (or is it 'T'!!!). It must have taken me a good half hour to choose a frame for one of my daughters water colours she gave me, not only spoilt by so many shades of blue/green, and then there was the price !! so, yes, framing your artwork certainly puts a price on it. Thanks for sharing x

  48. They all look so fantastic and I would have never have known that one of them was copy paper had you not have told us, well done you for framing your work finally and giving us all a valuable lesson xx

  49. Your gallery beginnings look amazing. What a feast for your eyes, I love the girl on a swing framed, it looks brilliant, and the soft green zentangle one is gorgeous in the black frame. Absolutely awesome Barbara. Great idea!
    Alexandra x

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